Thursday, May 15, 2008

International Shipping Inflation

If you did not yet notice, the United States Postal Service (USPS) increased shipping rates again early this week. I knew the prices for domestic shipment postage increased slightly (standard 1-ounce letter rate went from 41 cents to 42 cents) since that had been in the news. Now, this tiny increase sounds reasonable, and in-line with what the government keeps saying "core inflation" is; i.e., roughly 2.5-3%. But, this doesn't tell the whole story of real inflation, which as we all seem to witness in food and energy prices especially, that is much higher.

Upon further examination, I noticed that yet again the cost of shipping my gluten-free desserts recipe cookbook has increased another 15 cents domestically (which, again, I am just going to absorb as to not contribute any more to this seemingly endless cycle of inflation). This is the second time in less than a year, and I have seen domestic postage costs rise 15%+, while not passing any of that increased cost along to my customers.

Oh, but wait... there's more! I started checking out international shipping rates. My first reaction was: "those can't be the right numbers!?" The USPS flat-rate Priority International Envelope I use to ship my gluten-free cookbook to Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and the rest of the world has soared in price by nearly 20% just with this current increase! And this is on top of a similar increase on May 14th of 2007! In just over a year, my international shipping cost has increased 35%!

So, I am sad to announce to my international gluten-free book buyers: I have to raise the standard charge for shipping a book. I am a bit reluctant, though I sure hope the weak USA Dollar helps make up for the increased price. I can hold the line on domestic shipping charges for now, but that 35% increase for foreign gluten-free book shipments is a bit rough. I sure hope this is the last postage/shipping increase we will all see in a while, but I can not help thinking it a sign of things to come.

I also can not help wondering, if in the unlikely event oil prices fall considerable, will the USPS cut its rates. lol! (I think this is a case where "what goes up, must come down" will never apply - I can not see the USPS lowering shipping rates once they raise them)

4 comments:

Plastic Pallets said...

This was a very interesting post. I am definitely bookmarking it.

Keep up the good work!

Robert R said...

How in the world people can do business with our postal service when price of shipping goods is increasing that fast. We need to find cheaper way for our logistic support. To learn more Visit http://www.bgiworldwide.com/

Tirbid said...

By changing of time the rates of shipping increases; not only shipping charges of every service is increasing by time. But hike should be genuine. It should not affect the business at all.

Aleksandar Arsovski said...

Can someone tell me about International Shipping Sites that sales gluten free products especially beer :) I'm in Europe,Macedonia !
Tnx