The drama between UPS and the US Postal Service continues! Well…it’s not really drama, per se. Here’s what’s going on. UPS recently made a bid for the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling to uphold USPS’ current pricing rates. However, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of USPS on Monday, rejecting UPS’ bid to take a second look at how the Postal Service prices their package delivery services. This marks a win not only for the Postal Service, but also for every American small business that relies on USPS on a daily basis.
UPS’ Case for the Postal Service Raising Its Prices
UPS has long argued that the Postal Service is able to set unfair rates for delivering packages. They allege that USPS sets their prices way too low in comparison to other carriers. From their point of view, this undercuts the competition and creates an unfair marketplace. In reality, UPS isn’t wrong. The US Postal Service does in fact offer the most competitive rates for shipping small packages, which is exactly why the majority of eCommerce businesses choose to ship with USPS. However, USPS’ loyalty is to the American public—not to shareholders in corporations such as UPS. Plus, offering low rates is perfectly within USPS’ legal right to do so.
Why the Supreme Court’s Ruling is a Major Win for USPS (and the Public)
Soon after President Trump took office, he created the Postal Task Force to try to find a way to put an end to USPS’ financial troubles. One of the Task Force’s suggestions was to divide USPS parcels into two categories: essential (which cost less) and non-essential (which cost more). The Task Force argues that eCommerce packages are non-essential, due to the commercial nature of the shipments. If Congress enacted the Task Force’s suggestion, small business owners across the country would be forced to pay higher shipping rates as a result.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of USPS’ pricing rates prevents that notion from becoming reality. In a nutshell, USPS maintaining affordable rates for delivering packages means that small businesses across America will continue to thrive. From where we’re standing, that’s a very good thing.
Meanwhile, others at UPS aren’t so thrilled. In a statement given on Monday, UPS spokesperson Kara Ross weighed in on the Supreme Court’s decision.
“[We are] disappointed that the Supreme Court decided not to hear this case,” she said. “We will continue to work with the Postal Regulatory Commission to advocate for transparent cost accounting at the USPS.”