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Here's Why You Will Soon Have To Pay More For International Postage When You Shop Online

Online shoppers take note!

Cover image via Mohon Kerja UPU_UN

This Spotlight is sponsored by Pos Malaysia.

Starting in 2020, you could be paying a lot more for international postage, especially if you shop online regularly

Following the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) Extraordinary Congress last month, plans have been set into motion that will see the U.S. increasing its fees for international postage starting in 2020 - while other countries will soon follow suit.

Here's everything you need to know:

1. The UPU is an international organisation established under the United Nations, and includes Malaysia

They are comprised of 192 member countries, and together they collectively set the global rates by which each country pays to another when mailing items (below 2kg) between them.

As a member country, Malaysia is set to be affected by the new rate revision, which will see a rise in costs for sending and receiving letters and parcels. 

This is because of Terminal Dues.

2. Terminal Dues are the fees that the UPU member countries pay each other for international postage items that cross their respective borders

Imagine you order something from the US. The sender country (US) will pay a fee to the recipient country (Malaysia), to help cover the operational and delivery costs to get your package to you. That way, you don't have to pay the full cost of commercial rates.

During the Extraordinary Congress in Geneva, the issue of Terminal Dues took centre stage because the US are seeking to revise the fee structure and move towards declaring their own rates, threatening to withdraw from the union otherwise. 

As a result, an alternate revision of rates was agreed upon so that the US stays on, while being allowed a degree of authority in setting their postal rates.

3. Starting next year, there will be a drastic hike in international delivery costs. This will affect you if you regularly shop online at overseas stores.

Effective July 2020, the US will begin implementing their self-declared rates, which according to forecasts, will see Malaysia experiencing a drastic hike of more than 210% in delivery costs to the US.

In fact, you can see some hikes starting from January 2020 as other member countries start to make their own arrangements. This could mean we'll be seeing up to a 30% increase in total delivery costs.  

Subsequently in 2021, the rates set to be revised again, bringing an additional potential increase up to 50%.

*Percentages stated here are for estimation purposes only; may be subject to change.

There are several reasons why postage will become expensive

Image via Mohon Kerja

These reasons include:

  • The general costs involved in the international postage process has increased. 
  • There's an ongoing trade war between the US and China, which adds fuel to the fire. 
  • Postal services all over the world are spending more to deliver the same amount of mail.
  • At a domestic level, service providers have to face the mounting challenge of new addresses being added to the nationwide grid every year (as of now, there are up to 9.2 million addresses in Malaysia alone).

In recognition of this, Pos Malaysia continues to be an important provider for Malaysians, capitalising on their vast coverage of delivery points across the country

From the kampung to the city, Pos Malaysia is committed to ensuring the safe arrival of everyday necessities to multiple destinations.

As a national service provider, this looks to be a critical moment in Pos Malaysia's journey, as we continue to move towards a digital world, away from "snail mail."

Despite the challenges, Malaysians continue to showcase confidence in Pos Malaysia with their unrivaled distribution network in supporting digital economy, yet making it affordable to all.

What do you think about the postage price hike? How does it affect you? Let us know in the comments below!

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