The U.S. Will Remain in UPU, but Postal Rate Changes Are Still Coming
The United States agreed to remain a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), but postal rates will likely still be increasing.
When the UPU voted to adopt a compromise plan, they agreed that all members will eventually have the chance to declare their own terminal dues – in other words, the rates that foreign postal services will charge for service when mail crosses their borders.
The U.S. will be the first country able to do this. They will need to submit their rate declarations for validation by March 1, 2020. Those rates will be published by April 1, 2020, and will go into effect on July 1, 2020.
Because other countries must wait until 2021 to change their rates, USPS rates and service agreements are safe for now. USPS typically announces their annual rate hikes in mid-October, however, industry experts expect additional rate increases in 2020. Alex Yancher, CEO of Passport Shipping, told Supply Chain Dive: “We expect the USPS to bake-in the potential July 2020 increase into the January increase to avoid two increases, which would be very disruptive for businesses and decision-makers. We should find out their approach by the end of October.”
UPS Invests $450M in Natural Gas Fleet
In a recent press release, UPS announced plans to purchase more than 6,000 natural gas-powered vehicles in the next three years. The $450M investment aims to expand the company’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet, as well as supporting infrastructure.
These new vehicles will feature compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems, provided under an agreement with Agility Fuel Solutions. By expanding their CNG fleet, UPS hopes to reduce their carbon footprint, while also having a positive influence on CNG market growth throughout the country.
“UPS continues to expand and improve our smart logistics network by implementing new technologies and creating a highly flexible, data-driven, and sustainable network,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer. “That is why we intend for 25 percent of our vehicles purchased in 2020 to run on alternative fuels.”
Over the past decade, UPS has spent more than $1 billion on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, investing in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations.