UPS®’s Possible Solution to the Thursday/Friday Factor
Last month, Bloomberg.com reported that United Parcel Service Inc. is testing Saturday delivery as a way to compete due to the major increase in ecommerce shopping. Currently, FedEx Corp. drops off ground-shipped items at homes on Saturdays as does the U.S. Postal Service. In fact, the USPS also makes Sunday deliveries in some markets on behalf of Amazon.com Inc.
Accommodating the increasing convenience of customers is essential in today’s market, in which customers highly consider factors that are linked to logistics such as free shipping, return options, delivery times and shipping updates. Many customers prefer receiving items on weekends, and home deliveries are expected to account for more than half of UPS’s total by 2019.[i]
What can businesses glean from this?
A lot of businesses don’t understand that, to main parcel carriers, the Thursday/Friday next business day or two day service really means Monday for most carriers. While carriers do offer a Saturday service, the extra surcharge can be as high as $16 per shipment. Also, the US Postal Service considers Saturday a regular business day. This is important to know if a shipment really needs to get there on a Saturday, as you can avoid any surcharges by sending the package with the US Postal Service, or by planning effectively for a Monday delivery.
It is important to note that there are some carrier services that do consider Saturday a business day that does not have a surcharge. Researching options on the exact carrier services offered that can meet your needs then becomes extremely important to save time and improve your shipping service levels.
Confirm the true delivery objective on a shipment being sent out on a Thursday or Friday. When does a package truly need to be delivered to your recipient? And at all costs, if you can avoid it, don’t pay the Saturday delivery surcharge with a major parcel carrier. If it needs to arrive on Saturday, you may wish to consider using USPS.
[i] Bloomberg.com, UPS Tests Saturday Delivery as Web Shoppers’ Clout Increases, July 15, 2016