Shippers sending goods between the United States and parts of the Pacific Rim can now do it with a date-certain guarantee. And they don't have to use an integrator to do it.
The U.S. Postal Service last week launched a program to enhance its expedited shipping service Global Express Mail with the Australian post and four Asian posts.
"What's different here is six posts have raised the bar and said they're going to do this full track and trace," USPS Vice President of International Business Jim Wade said in an interview from Hong Kong. "They've worked to integrate the network between these six posts. You have more of an integrated network like you might see from one of the integrators."
Wade said the USPS hopes to take business from the private sector with its stepped-up service, which is tied in with a domestic tracking system that is in the process of being rolled out.
"That's the intention," he said. "Our prices are good. We have perhaps more infrastructure on the ground than all the integrators on the ground in that we are established posts in our market."
In addition to the United States and Australia, the posts of China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea also now offer the guaranteed service. The USPS hopes to expand the service to other countries.
The first five countries equal 30 percent of U.S. express mail exports and 50 percent of express mail imports.
Global Express Mail volume grew 19 percent in the most recent quarter. In 2004, 5 million items were shipped by Global Express Mail.