What’s In a Name?

Have you ever been confused by the shipping services used by USPS; particularly Priority Mail and Express Mail? If so, then you may be interested in what USPS has done to clear the fog of confusion.

Beginning July 28, 2013, Express Mail will be known as “Priority Mail Express” and “Priority Mail Express International.” It will remain the fastest way to ship through the Post Office. Everything is the same as Express Mail; only the name is different.

USPS will change the names of it's two fastest services starting July 28, 2013. They will offer Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail.
USPS will change the names of it’s two fastest services starting July 28, 2013. They will offer Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail.

Priority Mail will not change, except now USPS will provide “day-specific delivery” with the service. It will also include $50 or $100 insurance coverage for loss, damage, or missing items. You will also be given an estimated date of delivery of 1-3 days (depending on where you’re shipping from and where you’re shipping to, of course). Customers cannot request a delivery time frame. Costs will not increase based on estimated time of delivery.

According to the USPS official Web site, the change is aimed at simplifying shipping choices. “Research has shown that our service names are confusing for customers,” the site states. “In an effort to make shipping with USPS as easy as possible, we’re simplifying the name of our service.”

More than the name is changing, however. Customers currently using meter postage or stamps will have to go directly to the Post Office if they want the automatic insurance. The new Priority Mail shipping label will feature a note indicating when the package should arrive (one, two, or three days). Even the shipping boxes will have a new look to them.

The new packaging material is set to debut “on or before July 28, 2013” at all Post Office locations and online. You can still use your “old” materials until your stock runs out. The box indicates what service will be used, though, so don’t try using a Priority Mail box when shipping Priority Mail Express!

International shipping will have some new features as well. A new label has been created for Priority Mail Express International along with a new Customs Form. The good news? Less boxes to fill in! USPS referred to writing the same information on two forms as “redundant data entry.” The drawback, however, is that the new form cannot be used for APO, FPO, or DPO locations.

In summary, if you go to the Post Office on or after (or possibly before) July 28, 2013 to ship Express, be prepared for Priority Mail Express. It’s the same as what Express was, just a different name. It may take Don’t worry, though, Priority Mail is still a priority; even if it might get there in an expressly manner it’s still Priority, not Express.

More confused than before? You’re not alone.

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