An Important Note from Our Company President

Read and important note from our company president.

Dear Valued Partner,

As we enter the holiday shopping season it is important for all of us to recognize that the logistics business is under a lot of stress.

• Inbound stock is running behind schedule with many container ships still queued outside of L.A. and other major ports.

• Acquiring quality staffing and packaging supplies remain an issue.

• Last year our carriers sometimes restricted how many packages they would pick up per day.

Even though we are faced with these challenges, be assured we will continue to do our very best to process your incoming stock and outgoing orders in a timely manner.

However, due to the difficulties we face, we ask for your patience… especially if you are running sales that create order spikes.

Although we do not anticipate it, unforeseen spikes in our aggregate order traffic MAY lead to longer processing times and possible shipping delays if carriers enact volume restrictions.

As always we will work hard to process all orders quickly and efficiently.

We wish you all the best for the holidays,


President

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics – West Coast

Sprocket Express – East Coast

Get Ready for Temporary Shipping Rate Adjustments for the 2021 Holiday Season

Medallion Fulfillment the Top US Fulfillment Company

The United States Postal Service filed notice earlier this year with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding a temporary price adjustment for key package products for the 2021 peak holiday season. This temporary rate adjustment is similar to one in 2020 that anticipated heightened peak-season package and shipping demand, which typically results in extra handling costs.

The planned peak-season pricing, which was approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on August 5, would affect prices on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels – Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground, and Parcel Return Service. International products would be unaffected.

Pending favorable review by the PRC, the temporary rates would go into effect at 12:00 a.m., Central Time, on October 3, 2021, and remain in place until 12:00 a.m., Central Time, December 26, 2021.

This seasonal adjustment will bring prices for the Postal Service’s commercial and retail customers in line with competitive practices.

From the UPSP about these changes: “Delivering for America,” the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. The Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping. These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges like levels experienced in 2020. The forecasted additional revenue from the time-limited increase will depend on the volume of packages shipped between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26, 2021″ – the period the Postal Service historically considers its holiday peak season.

The planned price changes include:

Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground:

• $0.75 increase for PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes.
• $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs.
• $0.75 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs.
• $1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs.
• $3.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs.
• $2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs.
• $5.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs.

Additional Planned Increases for the United States Postal Service

Product : Parcel Select Destination Delivery Unit (DDU)
Current: Starts at $3.30
Planned Increase: No change

Product: Parcel Select Lightweight (DDU)
Current: Starts at $2.15
Planned Increase: No change

Product: FCPS Commercial
Current: Starts at $3.01
Planned Increase: 30 cents

Product : FCPS Retail
Current: Starts at $4.00
Planned Increase: 30 cents

Product: Parcel Select Lightweight (DSCF and DNDC)
Current: Starts at $2.55
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Select DSCF
Current: Starts at $4.84
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Select DNDC
Current: Starts at $6.85
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Return Service
Current: Starts at $3.21
Planned Increase: $1.00

FedEx Announces Their Holiday Rate Increases For 2021

Kicking in November 1 with a $1.50-per-piece price hike for FedEx’s Ground Economy deliveries, FedEx starts the holiday season off for merchants with a not so merry notice.

The planned increase affects shipping to outbound residential deliveries for small and medium-sized businesses and covers low-weight, low-value, non-urgent deliveries – typical consumer package deliveries.

The November 1 surcharge expires on November 28, but will be then be upped to $3 per package November 29, and will last until December 12 to compensate for the higher volumes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases. FedEx rate surcharges will then return to the $1.50 per piece increase from December 13 to January 16.

FedEx also announced a new on-going 60-cents-per-piece charge starting January 17, 2022, for retailers whose shipment volumes qualified for holiday surcharges.

UPS Announces Their Holiday Rate Increases For 2021

UPS has developed a pricing tier for the 2021 holiday shipping season based on merchant shipping volume.

This complicated grid is based on distinct variables such as shipments originating from China Mainland and Hong Kong SAR to the U.S.; shipments originating from Japan to the U.S.; shipments originating from Taiwan to the U.S.; shipments from Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand to the U.S.; shipments from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or United Kingdom to the U.S. and North America; and finally exhaustively any international shipment from all origins to all destinations, except shipments subject to the Peak Surcharges set forth in Sections A through E above, until further notice for the Service Levels and Peak Periods set forth below.

The pricing grid is so complex and confusing, that it is more important to review the document to ascertain what your shipping surcharge for the holiday will be. Visit the price grid.

UPS appears to now be structuring its price increase based on the merchant’s February volume in tiers. The tiers are 110% to 200% of February 2020 volume; greater than 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume; greater than 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume, greater than 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume; greater than 500% of February 2020 volume.

Any way, you look at it, shipping for merchants in the holiday season for 2021 will be more complicated due to Covid-19 and more expensive with new shipping volume surcharges.

Tired of Figuring Out the Shipping? Leave it to Medallion to Ship Your Goods

Leverage our expertise and volume pricing to ship your goods this holiday season and concentrate on selling and servicing your customers. Medallion has programs that fit all budgets and needs – large and small. With warehouses on the East and West Coasts, we make shipping easy, fast, and now headache-free.

Contact us at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics today to get a free rate quote and learn how easy it is to have us handle your fulfillment and shipping needs.

Amazon is Drawing Increased Attention as Antitrust Chatter Grows

In the world of online retailing, Amazon is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. The one-time bookseller has become a global juggernaut, allowing consumers to shop for everything under the sun from the comfort of their own home.

With annual revenue approaching $400 billion, it may seem as though it’s Amazon’s world and we’re just living in it. Earlier this year, a group of independent-business organizations joined forces to take aim at monopolies, with Amazon at the dead center of their target.

Small Businesses Feel the Squeeze

Over the years, Congress has enacted various antitrust laws designed to maintain a level playing field. The purported goal of such legislation is to prevent monopolies and promote a competitive marketplace.

In reality, these laws are only as strong as their enforcement. Larger companies have the means to play Goliath to the smaller companies’ David. In 2020, Amazon alone spent approximately $18 million to lobby against stricter antitrust measures.

It may seem as though fighting the retail giants would be a tall enough order. Adding insult to injury, many small businesses feel that industry organizations such as National Retail Federation (NRF) pay lip service to the idea of equal representation while quietly favoring their largest members.

Standing Up for Market Equality

In a proactive effort to regain some equitable conditions, more than 20 trade and business groups formed a coalition under the name, “Small Business Rising.” Members include organizations such as the National Grocers Association (NGA), the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a vocal critic of Amazon’s dominance.

Small Business Rising announced their formation and goals in an April 2021 press release. Amazon was specifically cited by name several times, making it clear what the organization sees as one of their biggest obstacles. As Stacy Mitchell, ILSR co-director stated, “concentrated market power” is the toughest challenge facing today’s small business owner.

The organization’s objectives call on policymakers to do the following:

*Break up tech monopolies, such as Amazon, to prevent them from cornering the online market.

* Add teeth to antitrust laws by making them stronger and more enforceable.

* Put a stop to mega-mergers and set higher criteria for regular mergers.

In addition, Small Business Rising is leveraging the relationships local business owners have with power players in their respective hometowns. Members are organizing meetings, seeking out media coverage and waging letter-writing campaigns.

The Rich Get Richer

The unprecedented conditions of 2020 served to magnify the gap between Amazon and other e-commerce businesses. While COVID restrictions created a surge in online shopping, small online retailers faced corresponding supply chain and distribution difficulties, making it hard for them to accommodate demand.

On the other hand, Amazon was able to draw on its significant resources to weather the storm and emerge stronger than ever. The company spent a reported $4 billion on “incremental COVID-19-related costs,” enabling it to successfully adjust its processes and policies.

In the face of mounting criticism during the last few years, Amazon has tried to brand itself as a valuable ally to small businesses, especially with Amazon Marketplace, its third-party online sales platform. Companies have responded by pointing out how Amazon uses prohibitive fees and data access for competitive advantage.

Grow Your Online Business with Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics

Are Amazon’s arbitrary and restrictive fees and policies helping or hurting your e-commerce business? Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics works with you by offering a full assortment of services tailored to fit your needs.

Contact us to learn more about our flexible and cost-effective fulfillment solutions, including our innovative Amazon replenishment warehousing service.

Does Amazon’s “New Normal” Come with New Problems?

Fulfillment Company Warehouse

In 2005, when Amazon debuted their revolutionary Prime membership program, the centerpiece was unlimited free two-day shipping. As Jeff Bezos declared in the announcement, it was “all-you-can-eat express shipping.”

In an effort to remain the gold standard of online shopping, many items have since been upgraded to next-day shipping. But as with many companies, Amazon has been forced to adapt as the pandemic altered the retailing landscape. What does Amazon’s “new normal” mean for the sellers who rely on their fulfillment services?

Fulfillment by Amazon: The Answer for Third-Party Sellers?

A year after Prime began, Amazon upped the ante by creating Fulfillment by Amazon. This program allowed third-party sellers to store their inventory in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, where the products were cataloged and shipped to customers. FBA sellers also benefited by having their products eligible for Prime.

How powerful is FBA? Research found that three-quarters of Amazon’s top 100,000 sellers utilize the program. The number jumps to an astounding 90 percent for sellers based outside the United States

How the Pandemic Changed Amazon and Online Retailing

While Amazon was already the king of online retailing, demand became even higher as the onset of the pandemic caused widespread closure of brick-and-mortar shops. The first blow to third-party sellers came in March 2020, when the company cut off inbound FBA shipments of everything but high-priority products such as medical supplies.

The essentials-only mandate eased up in July 2020, but that didn’t mean FBA was back to “normal.” Quantity restrictions went into effect, limiting the amount of warehouse space that would be allocated to new products or those with more modest sales history.

One of the benefits of FBA is that products could flow through the warehouse and out to customers on a consistent and reliable basis. Some sellers found their inventory limits didn’t match demand, causing out-of-stock situations and hampering their ability to grow.

Inventory Limits by Any Other Name

In an announcement dated April 22, 2021, Amazon proclaimed that they had listened to feedback from their sellers and were removing limits based on ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number, which is assigned to every item in the company’s catalog). The bad news? Limits were now being set at the account level.

Despite Amazon’s efforts to play this up as a positive change, sellers were devastated. As one explained, instead of impacting only a few of their items, the reduction in space now had to accommodate his entire product offering. Adding insult to injury, the change took effect on the same day as the announcement, leaving sellers scrambling to conform to these new restrictions.

The Fallout Continues

While the Amazon customer experience remains relatively the same, it’s a whole different story behind the scenes. Inventory limits and other changes, such as long-term storage fees being charged monthly instead of annually, make it clear that Amazon has positioned FBA for short-term supply.

Sellers no longer have the convenience of using FBA as a one-stop solution for their storage and shipping needs. More and more are looking already to turn to additional third-party logistics companies for backup warehousing. They also face the uncertainty of knowing that Amazon can and will change the rules with little or no notice.

Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics: Working to Promote Your Success

Do you sometimes feel like David fighting Goliath? Our Amazon replenishment warehousing service provides a cost-effective solution that’s responsive to your particular needs.

Features include:

• Lower storage fees

• Climate-controlled warehouse space

• Amazon-compliant labeling, packing and prep

• Software that interfaces with Amazon as well as the industry’s top shopping cart systems

Contact the team at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics today to learn more and loosen the grip Amazon has on your ability to grow.