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I need to ship some packages the the UK and Germany, but FedEx and UPS regular services are extremely expensive. DHL Global Mail and UPS Mail Innovations services are much more reasonable, but it looks like they need really high volume to qualify for. I just want to send a few packages out internationally each month - I would use USPS but they need to be customs prepaid/cleared through customs, and USPS doesn't offer any service for this.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've also looked online for package consolidators but they also seem like they wouldn't waste time for volume this low.

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Another thing that got to me, is why can UPS, FedEx, DHL etc have these Hybrid Services (DHL Global Mail, UPS Mail Innovations, FedEx Smart Post) which use the USPS for a large part of the package distribution but restrict applicants for these services?

When the USPS is losing so much money, and is being funded by taxpayers, seems like anyone should be able to use these services or USPS needs to increase the rates it charges FedEx/UPS.

FloorsMat said:   Another thing that got to me, is why can UPS, FedEx, DHL etc have these Hybrid Services (DHL Global Mail, UPS Mail Innovations, FedEx Smart Post) which use the USPS for a large part of the package distribution but restrict applicants for these services?

When the USPS is losing so much money, and is being funded by taxpayers, seems like anyone should be able to use these services or USPS needs to increase the rates it charges FedEx/UPS.


1. The USPS isn't funded by taxpayers. That is why they are currently 80 billion in debt. The only govt involvement in USPS operations is that under a 1948 law the US govt classifies the USPS as a civil service entitiy and provides the USPS a legal monopoly in certain operational regions in exchange for offering low cost govt price fixed service to rual areas as well as exclusive access to APOs anf FPOs. Under that same law in exchange for operating a legal monopoly the USPS must get congressional permission for all First Class Letter postage price hikes. The civil service classification also allows USPS employees hired prior to 2001 to paritcipate in the Federal civil service pension program which is supposedly guaranteed by US securities. However Postal hires after 2001 are no longer allowed to participate in that guaranteed pension program.

2. The USPS , DHL, FedEx or USP Sdoes not restrict any US company from participating in any of their wholesale high volume shipping discount programs. However as with ANY volume discount offered in any vertical market you must meet the prerequisites to participate in those programs. For high volume mail discounts that means meeting qualifications for both the USPS pre-processing qualifications and well as the participating qualifications from partners such as DHL FedEx, and UPS. This is no different than any volume discount for any commodity purchased in volume in sny other market. For example to get those super low rates for those hybrid services you mentioned above you failed to realized those companies that participate like Amazon.com, Buy.com, and Wal-Mart also spend hundreds of millions in equipment to pre-process and transport their shipments to get those discounts so why should the USPS or any of their partners offer the same discounts to someone like you who is a small time occasional shipper? That is the difference between retail and wholesale. As an example it would be like asking why doesn't Samsung sell TVs to you at the same price they sell them to Best Buy simply because you feel it isn't fair for Samsung to give Best buy significant discounts and you feel entitled.

Thanks for the detailed response. I didn't know the USPS hasn't received any federal money - but I guess it's kind of assumed they will be bailed out at some point right? What other company could operate with 80 billion in debt without going bankrupt? (Looks more like it's 13 billion short term + long term?)

USPS is currently in significant debt primarily because federal law requires the pre-funding of pensions. Pretty much no other entity is required to do that. If they didn't have to, the books would look a lot more balanced.



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