February 10th, 2015
You can follow this chart: http://images.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/LithiumBattery_JobAid.pdf to determine how to find lithium content and watt hours.
You can follow this chart: http://images.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/LithiumBattery_JobAid.pdf to determine how to find lithium content and watt hours.
PackageMapping.com, the first universal visual package tracking service, has been helping online businesses track packages for more than 8 years. Improving customer service and generating more business by keeping customers on your website. AMBC members now get the Basic plan at a special discounted rate by following the link inside the AMBC member portal.
” PackageMapping has been an excellent addition to our website. The product is easy for our customers to use and more importantly it drives our customers to our website, creating an excellent marketing tool. I recommend PackageMapping as a valuable addition to your store website and marketing program.” – Mark Vining, Mailboxes of Iowa City
” Absolutely love this site, it’s very beneficial for my business because it let’s my clients track their packages. Also, it allows clients to navigate through my website and see other services. Last but not least, the service that PackageMapping provides is outstanding! Great tool and great service.” – George Castro, Gables Postal Store
The AMBC special is 50% off the normal price of the Basic plan which is currently $20/month, so AMBC members would only pay $10/month. To get the discount you must be an AMBC Member at a Basic Level or above and can access this resource on our website (www.ambc.org), under the Resources section. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join to get this great benefit.
Here are this week’s important DHL Updates. Keeping up to date with DHL will help keep your business running smoothly.
Internal Transation Number (ITN) Shipments
We at DHL apologize for the confusion for shipments with a commodity value over $2500. At DHL we strive to be the most compliant when it comes to international shipping. Therefore, we sent out a directive to make sure we were following the most compliant process in regards to this subject. We will accept all shipments properly processed by our DASC network for ITN filing. If a shipment doesn’t meet the criteria below for proper filing the shipment should not be accepted.
After ensuring compliance with the current courier service guide which provides details of customs guidelines, follow the below ITN checklist.
1) Determine if an ITN number is required.
2) If ITN required:
Approved Domestic Shipper (DHL Drop Offs)
DHL is promoting the use of the DASC network by the DHL Supply Chain (Exel) c/o Oracle Corporation will be piloting 10 cities within the US beginning this week before going nationwide in December. Pilot cities:
Please ensure you accept any drop offs from this shipper. It is no different than accepting drop offs from the standard customer. As always, remember to schedule that pickup with DHL.
Reporting Drop offs
DHL Customs Charges Card
NOTE: This is coming from a no reply email address that is not monitored. As always, if you have any questions please email email@example.com or call us at (844) 697-7377.
The InXpress Retail Team
Here is the most recent version of DHL’s Prohibited and Restricted Commodities Policy (PRCP). Please print this off and place at your workstations.
The 2014 December Shipping Calendar is now ready to be downloaded. You can also download the excel spreadsheet compliments of MPC Coaches so you can determine your sales goals for December as well.
You can view this information on our website www.ambc.org under the Resources section. This is a great example of why being a Classic member pays!
Time to Prepare for the Holiday Shipping Season
Prepare to maximize the moment. Make absolutely sure you’re prepared ahead of time for the holiday rush. Have enough inventory, supplies, and merchandise on hand? An advertising plan? Temporary workers lined up and trained? Are you signed up to receive AMBC emails so that you receive important carrier updates, etc.?
Planning — You Can’t Do Too Much
Treat Employees Like Gold
On The Front Lines
Packing For Profits
Hark, The Harried Angels Say…
’Tis the Season
Take Care of Yourself
Problems that are costing you money and how to fix them
Your business in the mail and parcel industry is hard enough when trying to keep up with the latest technologies and changes in the marketplace. Sometimes it can be hard to find time to look at your operation to find inefficiencies so they can be fixed. If you find the time, however, your bottom line is going to move in a positive direction. Here are two common problem areas where you can try to increase your profits:
You’ve done everything you can to get your parcel sent out and delivered on time, only to find yourself looking down at it because it came back undeliverable. Maybe the address was off, maybe the carrier was at fault, or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. The end result remains the same, however. You’re going to be out money one way or another, either directly or through taking the time to fix the problem.
First, consider the tools you have in place to help make sure everything goes smoothly. Are you using the Coding Accuracy Support System to make sure the address entry is correct and deliverable? Are you checking databases to find out what addresses are proven to be deliverable? If not, you might as well be giving away money. These basic failsafes need to be in place before you can even consider fixing the problem. If you’re already doing the above, then it’s time to start tracking your entire process. Once you have enough data you can track the undeliverables and find common factors that cause the shipping to go awry. Fix the problems and you’ll have more money in your pocket.
If you take a hard look at your operation, it’s likely you’re spending too much money somewhere. Maybe you’re paying too much for supplies, or your labor costs are out of sync with your customer flow. In some cases, your shipping costs could be inflated because of an inaccurate picture of how your customers use your service or what they ship. It’s easy to look at things and think, “This is how it’s always been so it must be right,” but that’s not going to get you anywhere.
Make the time to undertake a widespread analysis of your business. Look at the factors mentioned above (and anything else you spend money on) and see where areas could be improved. If you don’t have any opportunities for optimization then you are an amazing businessperson and it’s time to open a few more locations. In reality, many in the industry have several small areas that need to be optimized that can add up to big bucks.
Take a close, honest look at your business and you’ll be surprised at the money you can find.
Author’s bio: Ryan Franklin is a guest blogger and expert on shipping in all its forms. He knows what’s what when it comes to yacht transport and parcel shipping, and everything in between.
Layoffs, early retirement, closing plants and distribution centers, closing or reducing the hours at unprofitable Post Offices, begging the Congress to send bailout money are a few of the more known desperate attempts for the USPS to save itself.
On the revenue side they have introduced new products and services like Every Door Direct Mail, better tracking information, flat rate boxes, and new Workshare products with private mailers. And they still lost $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012.
Now they are attempting to take the business of Private Mailbox Rentals from small family businesses in their neighborhoods.
As the owners of the First Class Mail monopoly, they did very well. Their contribution margin on First Class Mail is 285%, while Standard Mail gets just over 100%. As First Class has been electronically taken away from the USPS, their most profitable product has been almost eliminated. Trying to generate three times the quantity of Standard Mail to make up for the loss has been a failure.
AMPC and 12 other industry leaders and associations are in a battle to stop the USPS from winning the Mailbox Wars – the usurping of our business by an untaxed government behemoth with a $100 million advertising budget. This David versus Goliath fight between a powerfully connected and deficitly financed organization and the efficient small shop down the street, locally owned, family run, with an advertising budget of 1/10 of 1% of the enemy, paying local, state, and federal taxes, supporting local charities, and contributing to the local economy, is corruption at its worse.
Where else in the world does a country’s government take over the private sector enterprises? I could name a few places, but their political systems are a little different from ours.
I have been advised by who I would consider respected, professional, smart business people in this industry that this fight is not worth the trouble. It’s not a big deal they say. We all know that the USPS will do as well with this as they did with the Bugs Bunny neckties. Besides doesn’t it call attention to the Private Mailbox Business?
I do not doubt the fact that the USPS will, as in all other attempts to compete with the private market place, fail at providing the quality of service we are so successful at delivering. When a government, even with its vast advantages of deficit spending, no tax liabilities, and significant marketing budgets, tries to compete in the rules of engagement in the business world, they are bringing a knife to a gunfight. The incentives and punishments of private businesses mean nothing to them; they are not able to comprehend the thoughts of a person who has risked his family savings to work without paid vacation, pension, sick leave, annual leave and carryover accrual, health insurance with vision and dental, family medical leave, expense accounts, junkets, conventions, education reimbursement, and holiday leave, to provide for his family.
Compare a postal employee to be given the choice between making another $1000 sale or taking Friday afternoon off and the same choice offered to a shop owner and you can see why the war can be easily won. How often do you see a postal clerk forgo her break to speed the long line through the Post Office?
So why would AMPC spend the hours and the money it takes to chase this windmill?
It’s because it’s wrong. To see an American industry so unfairly attacked and devastated by its own government requires action. You expect action from us and it would be irresponsible for us to ignore this. And the rest of the industry agrees: 13 industry organizations consisting of for-profit and not-for-profit, trade groups and franchises, turnkeys and owners’ groups have coalesced into a united front to defeat the subterfuge of the USPS to take our business.
You can help. Soon there will be an opportunity to comment to the docket on the Postal Regulatory Commission website, but in the mean time, armies need money for weapons and supplies. Please consider a donation to the cause to protect your store from the onslaught of USPS competition by going to www.fightformympc.com and making a donation. Donations are averaging $100, but any amount will be appreciated.
Our job is to provide opportunities for you to become successful. Part of that job is to take down the barriers that keep us from doing that.
This is the first significant step in getting the Post Office to cease its predatory and unfair enhancement of the PO Box service.
We have presented a logical, reasonable, and legal argument against the USPS’ subterfuge to close down the family businesses that make up the retail shipping community. We expect the USPS to bring down the full power and resources on us to defeat this complaint, but with your help we are confident we will win.
The following organizations have joined the Complaint:
ASSOCIATED MAIL AND PARCEL CENTERS
PARCEL PLUS/KWIK COPY BUSINESS CENTERS
RETAIL SHIPPING ASSOCIATES
THE INDEPENDENT COALITION OF FRANCHISE OWNERS
THE MAIL BOX STORES
THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF RETAIL SHIP CENTERS
TOTAL CHOICE SHIPPING
We will be asking you send comments to the PRC in support of the Complaint. A sample letter will be posted on www.fightformympc.com. If you plan on establishing a Permanent Account for online submittals, you should send the application in soon.
The PRC would like everybody to set up a Permanent Account. A Temporary Account is set up if you want to file a comment immediately. The PRC suggests strongly that you follow the Temporary Account up with a mailed in application for a Permanent Account. If you have trouble, they will walk you through it.
PRC Account Procedures
A temporary account can be obtained online immediately. It may only be used to file a notice of intervention or a comment that has been solicited by the Commission. It expires after 10 days. A temporary account holder who intends to participate in a proceeding on an ongoing basis is urged to apply for a permanent account as soon as possible.
A permanent account is required to submit most documents in Commission proceedings. It is also required if the applicant desires status as a Principal Account Holder or Agent Account Holder. A permanent account holder must confirm that he or she is authorized to represent the participant indicated on the document filed and must warrant that all documents filed under the account are authentic and accurate.
A completed application for a permanent account must be mailed or hand delivered to:
Secretary of the Commission
Attn: Docket Section
901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20268
After acceptance by the Secretary, the applicant will receive an email with a username and a temporary password. Upon receipt, the applicant should immediately access the Filing Online Profile Page and select a permanent password. Users who are converting from temporary to permanent accounts will receive a message confirming the change in their account status. They should continue to use the username and password they initially selected.
Have you ever had a business partner? I had one once and partnerships can be very tricky to maintain. Trust, but verify comes to mind. Each party needs to trust the other, but just in case one of the partners lacks the ability to remember, an understanding in the form of a Partnership Agreement needs to be agreed upon.
We as individual stores have agreements with the three major carriers that could be seen as a partnership. But occasionally a carrier, with its internal, competing fiefdoms, violates the spirit of the contract, creating an adversarial relationship by competing with us. One department, by doing its job supports our businesses, while another department by doing its job, competes with us.
These departments, internal to an organization, also appear to be competing against each other. Such is just the nature of large organizations.
Speaking with Postmaster General Patrick Donahue last year, he emphasized the value of retail partners like USPS Approved Shippers by calling them, along with Contract Postal Units, Village Post Offices, and other affiliates, essential partners to the survival to the USPS. These replacement Postal outlets have the verbal support of the Postmaster General and his Executive Team.
So why has the USPS seen fit to imperil these very businesses by directly competing with the local neighborhood shipping stores? The USPS has offered the following services to PO Box renters who have boxes in the designated Competitive List areas:
On the USPS’ entry into the express market, Fred Smith from FedEx said:
“The problem with the USPS’s vain attempts to compete … is that there is not a shred of evidence that its entry into the field serves any public interests. There are, to be sure, important interests worthy of consideration, primarily those of postal workers and the postal family. However, a convincing argument has yet to be made to show that the public interest requires the Postal Service to use its monopoly … to gain an advantage in a service that can be and is being provided more efficiently by private enterprise. Moreover, it is noteworthy that these private companies, with which the USPS seeks to compete, pay taxes while the USPS does not; purchase license plates for vehicles, which the USPS does not; and, unlike the USPS, must comply with zoning restrictions and pay fees and other charges; are subject to customs laws; and are constrained by a host of government-imposed burdens.”
Unfair competition – that is the essence of the argument of stopping the USPS from adding the mail receiving enhancements that have been enjoyed by the customers of Commercial Mail Receiving Agents. No sales tax collected, no property taxes, no gas taxes, no license plates, no local codes or regulations to follow, and a $100,000,000 marketing budget allows the USPS advantages beyond comprehension.
Even if the above advantages of the USPS are tempered with the inefficiencies of unions, bureaucracy, PRC, Congressional regulation, and a monopoly mentality, the USPS still has an unfair competitive playing field with FedEx and UPS. But let these behemoths battle it out amongst themselves. Their armies are large are fairly balanced.
On the other hand, the USPS is now attacking the foundation of American economics.
When the USPS unleashes its firepower on the local mom and pop, independent family businesses, it’s the US Government versus the family and that’s wrong.
When the USPS uses its labor, which is paid for by postage, to move and deliver private carrier packages, to subsidize these businesses by consolidating their delivery stops, returning undeliverable packages, and communicating delivery information to the private carriers’ customers, that’s wrong.
When the USPS, who regulates Commercial Mail Receiving Agents, does not allow them to use the USPS Change of Address system for their customers, but allow the use of that system for PO Box customers, that’s wrong.
To claim financial reasons to implement five-day delivery for Private Mail Boxes, but service the PO Boxes on Saturday, that’s wrong.
Competing with the businesses you regulate is unethical, unfair, and corrupt.
Now we fight. We fight with everything we have. We will be commenting on the Docket we created on the PRC site. We will be writing letters to our Congressmen during an election year. We will be writing letters to the House and Senate leadership. And we will travel to Washington DC to confront the responsible people.
We cannot do this alone. We will need your help. Although we have other organizations willing to sign complaints, wars are expensive and signatures do not buy ammo. If you are not an AMPC Member, join us at the Classic Level; if you are not a Classic Level Member, upgrade, if you are a Classic Member, renew. This will become a fight for our existence, our survival, and the basis for our businesses.