The number of foreign markets that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will not be serving until further notice has climbed to 72 countries as of April 17. This list includes major economies like India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, causing widespread distress to U.S. businesses that bank on USPS for their shipment needs in those markets.
“Though the blanket reason for services to be suspended is COVID-19, there can be several reasons why it happened. It could be that the receiving postal service may have suspended shipments. Or it could be based on USPS’s comfort level on delivering packages in the destination country, or because there are capacity issues,” said Krish Iyer, the director of strategic partnerships at ShipStation.
Iyer pointed out that for businesses impacted by the USPS decision, it is time to start looking at domestic fulfillment by probing alternate selling channels within the U.S., rather than looking to fulfill international shipment.
“Though the knee-jerk response would be to satisfy the customers in all destination markets, companies need to look if the high-ceiling shipping costs can cause a potential issue. While companies might think consumers will understand that shipping costs will be passed down to them, this is necessarily unknown,” said Iyer. “If you are a consumer buying from them for the first time, what would your lasting impression be if you are charged high shipping costs? That’s the real question.”