Recent Posts

  • 1/21/19 The difference between IPA and ePacket Open or Close

    What's the difference between IPA and ePacket?

    We often have this conversation with prospective customers - how are these services different?  International Priority Airmail (IPA) and Commercial ePacket (CeP) are both services of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and are best utilized by consolidators like IMS.  By creating large volumes and having the processing expertise, we can provide the best possible rates and delivery of your packages.

    There are both similarities and differences ......

    • ePacket offers door to door tracking, IPA packages only get an acceptance scan upon entry in Chicago (Endicia users).
    • IPA offers options for Letters, Flats, Packages, and M-Bags (printed matter over 4.4 lbs).
    • ePacket is for Packages only.
    • IPA offers service worldwide, ePacket goes to 36 of the most popular countries (and adding more).
    • Both services travel the exact same paths to ultimate delivery in an average of 3-7 days.
    • Both have maximum piece weights of 4.4 lbs.
    • At basic published pricing, IPA is up to about $1.00/pkg cheaper than ePacket for lightweight packages.  But when you get over about 1 lb to most countries, ePacket is actually cheaper and provides full tracking!
    • Most of our customers will use ePacket for all qualifying countries, and IPA for the ROW.
    • We can integrate with the most popular software vendors (including the whole Stamps.com family) to make these services available on YOUR work stations.
  • 1/21/19 Key advantages to using IMS Open or Close

    We all know that price in this industry is paramount to choosing a vendor partner.  But we also think that it's the other things that set IMS apart from our competitors!  We like to think that we take "good service" to a completely different level.  Here's some unique advantages we provide our customers .....

    • Unparalleled Customer Service.  Only our customers truly know the experience, but I can guarantee that you can talk to a real person any time (normal business hours).  We go to great lengths to have a quote or answer to a question within an hour or two - if not immediately.  You'll also get my cell phone number for those evenings or weekends when business owners or managers are often still working.
    • Daily pickups nationwide and all-inclusive pricing available to customers of ALL sizes.
    • Expertise.  We've done nothing but process international mail and parcels - for 28 years.  We've built this business from the ground up and include many innovations that are very unique to our industry.
    • Accurate and timely invoicing.  Through the development of a highly customized ERP system, invoices and mailing statements are 100% accurate and literally available at our fingertips.  This allows us to invoice the same day as received if our wholesale customers are waiting to invoice their customers.  We can also provide line item detail for packages showing the exact weight and cost (even including a comparison to USPS Retail rates for comparable services).
    • We track a lot of packages so we can help set customer expectations.  We can also provide data on YOUR packages when requested (we provide this for all new customers).  We can also provide country specific information on both delivery and delivery scan rates which average about 95% via our ePacket service.
    • There are also many things we do to insure timely entry and delivery that go unseen.  We go to great lengths to fix bad addresses - not even a single package gets by us if it's missing an address component or if routing "issues".  Trust me, we've seen and handled it all!

    If ever in the area of Kalamazoo (SW Michigan) and it's not "blizzarding", stop and see us - we love company!

  • 1/14/19 (Updated 1/18) Snowfall in Switzerland affecting deliveries Open or Close

    From: UPU.EmIS                                                     
    Sent: Monday, January 14, 2019 8:55 AM
    Subject: Switzerland – Partial disruption of postal services
    Importance: High

    The designated operator of Switzerland, Swiss Post, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that heavy snowfall is affecting delivery in the Alpine region of the Canton of Graubünden, in the eastern part of Switzerland. Closed roads and strong avalanche warnings are making it difficult or even impossible to deliver postal items in postcode areas 72xx, 73xx, 75xx, 76xx and 77xx. It is currently not possible to predict when normal postal operations will resume as the snowfall is expected to continue over the next few days.

    Swiss Post thanks all Union member countries and their designated operators for their understanding. It will inform them via EmIS once the situation has returned to normal.

     

    Update 1/18/19:  Further to EmIS 7/2019, the designated operator of Switzerland, Swiss Post, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that the weather in the eastern part of Switzerland has stabilized. Postal operations resumed on Thursday, 17 January 2019, with the exception of a few homes that remain isolated.

    Swiss Post thanks all Union member countries and their designated operators for their understanding.

  • 1/11/19 Snowfall in Austria affecting deliveries Open or Close

    Since 7th January 2019 heavy snowfall is impacting the operational processes in Austria. The snowfall has resulted in closed roads and has cut off many villages across the Alps.

    Avalanche warnings prohibit collection and delivery of letter mail and parcels in the zip code areas mentioned below.

    Currently it is not predictable when normal postal operation will resume as the snowfall is still going on.

    Affected areas include:

    Lower Austria: 3100-3399, 3800-3999

    Upper Austria: 4400-4599, 4800-4899

    Salzburg: 5000- 5799

    Tyrol+Vorarlberg: 6000 – 6999, 9900-9999

    Styria: 8600-8999

  • USPS postage rate changes effective January 21, 2019 Open or Close

    As most already know, the USPS traditionally increases postage rates in January and this year is no different.  These rates will go into effect on January 27, 2019.  All of the domestic and international rates can be found here.

    Note: Rates for most IMS services will change on January 21, 2019.  Our Negotiated Service Agreements (NSA's) do not run concurrent with USPS Retail rate changes.  A summary of the changes to IMS services as follows:

    • Commercial ePacket (CeP):  NO CHANGES AT THIS TIME
    • International Priority Airmail (IPA):  Rates will increase an average of 2-4% (depending on class)
    • International Surface Air Lift (ISAL):  Rates will increase an average of 3-5% (depending on class)   
    • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) Drop Ship:  Rates will increase an average of 2.6%
    • Priority Mail International (PMI) Drop Ship:  Rates actually will decrease an average of 1%
    • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) Standard:  Rates will increase an average of 5.8%
    • Priority Mail International (PMI) Standard:  Rates will increase an average of 1%
    • IBRS Canada Small Package Return:  NO CHANGES AT THIS TIME

     

    Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like quotes updated or if any questions.

  • 11/28/18 Switzerland VAT changes Open or Close

    The Switzerland Federal Taxation Administration earlier this year announced Value Added Tax (VAT) changes which will impact companies shipping goods to Switzerland.  Effective January 1, 2019, any mail order company which generates at least 100,000 Swiss Francs in turnover per year from small consignments which it transports or dispatches to Switzerland from abroad must be entered in the Switzerland VAT Register.  VAT will be assessed on such consignments.  Following is a link to the Switzerland Federal Taxation Administration website with details:  https://www.estv.admin.ch/estv/en/home/mehrwertsteuer/fachinformationen/regelung-fuer-den-versandhandel.html

    If you have specific questions concerning the Switzerland VAT, please contact the Switzerland Federal Tax Administration directly:

    Online form:

    Click here for questions about the Value Added Tax.

    Phone:  41 58 462 21 11

    Postal Address:

    Federal Tax Administration FTA
    Main Division Value Added Tax
    Schwarztorstrasse 50
    3003 Berne

  • 11/28/18 Severe weather in Australia Open or Close

    A severe weather event, with rain and floods, in Sydney and neighbouring parts of New South Wales, Australia, is impacting the collection and delivery of all mail products for the state (postcodes 2xxxx).

    There will also be impacts on mail flows in and out of Australia due to large delays at Sydney airport and issue transporting the mail to/from the airport.

    For more info please got to:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-28/sydney-weather-live-coveraqe-of-floods-and-rani /10459224

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hea vv-rain-and-storms-hit-s ydney-causinq-commuter-chaos-20181127- p50irv.html

  • 11/27/18 Canada Post workers ordered back to work Open or Close
    Canada Post workers ordered back to work today   


    Senators in Canada passed back-to-work legislation Monday evening forcing an end to the rotating strikes which have been ongoing since October 22.  The order takes effect at 12:00 noon on Tuesday 11/27/18.

    Here are a couple of articles detailing the process:
    https://globalnews.ca/news/4701352/canada-post-back-to-work-legislation-passed-senate/
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/senate-passes-legislation-to-end-canada-post-strike-1.4192219 

    There will remain a significant backlog and it will take time to return services to normal, especially with the busy holiday season upon us.  We'll continue to monitor the situation and update customers as any new information becomes available.

  • 11/26/18 Canada Post strike update Open or Close
    Canadian Senate will vote on back-to-work legislation today  


    Senators in Canada adjourned for the weekend after 8 hours of proceedings on Saturday.  They will make a final decision today (Monday) to force the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) back to work as early as noon on Tuesday.  The full article from CBC News can be viewed here.

    We'll continue to monitor the situation but invite you to sign up for email updates from Canada Post here.  IMS and Canada Post will continue to collect, process, and deliver your mail and parcels.  Updates will also be posted in our blog (link below).

  • 11/6/18 One day postal strike in Israel Open or Close

    The designated operator of Israel, Israel Postal Company, asks us to inform the designated operators of other Union member countries that a general strike, affecting postal services, flights, transportation, government services, etc., has been called for Wednesday, 7 November 2018.

    This will result in delays in postal services in general, and EMS in particular.

    Israel Postal Company thanks designated operators for their understanding.