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UPS Announces New SMB-Friendly Shipping Rate

image for Alife / Getty Images
Alife / Getty Images
  • UPS's new Simple Rate shipping option establishes a national flat rate for packages that small and midsize businesses send throughout the U.S.
  • UPS representatives claim businesses will no longer need to weigh or measure their packages before shipping when using Simple Rate.
  • The plan has five separate pricing options, with costs linked to the package's size.

The holiday season is right around the corner, and with it comes a growing need for businesses of all sizes to ship their goods all over the world. While businesses are usually required to weigh and measure packages and may need to pay additional surcharges to ensure that what they're selling gets where it needs to go, the United Parcel Service (UPS) announced this morning that it's launching a new option, which aims to simplify and standardize the entire process.

Dubbed Simple Rate, the new nationwide shipping option is being touted as a business-forward plan to help small and midsize businesses. The new choice will make shipping easier for those businesses by "providing enhanced predictability and the option to BYOB (bring your own boxes)."

"UPS responds to our customers' need for more convenience, choice and control," said Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer at UPS. "Simple Rate helps small businesses take the guesswork out of shipping by providing simple, fast and transparent flat rates nationwide with guaranteed on-time delivery and no special packaging required."

Available to UPS account and non-account holders through the Simple Rate page on the company's website, this new service is available for businesses in all 50 U.S. states, though Alaska and Hawaii have separate rates.

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Prior to today, UPS business users were required to provide detailed information about their shipments. With the launch of Simple Rate, business owners will have access to nationwide flat-rate pricing with "simplified cube sizes," according to UPS.

As long as your package weighs 50 pounds or less and is 1,728 cubic inches or less in size, you can use Simple Rate for your shipping needs. UPS says this guideline lets business owners predict how much their in-country shipments will cost without fear of additional charges.

In addition to letting you know your costs as long as you know your package's dimensions, Simple Rate eliminates the need to look up shipping zones, since the program encompasses the whole U.S.

Another benefit of Simple Rate is that it will let businesses better market their products through their shipping efforts. Rather than requiring businesses to use specially marked boxes to get flat-rate pricing, Simple Rate will allow companies to use their own boxes and packaging with their own branding, UPS representatives said. [Read related article: Small Business Guide to Postage Meters]

Simple Rate may sound like a huge change for UPS, but the company emphasized that the program is mainly just another option to complement its existing services, like 2nd Day Air, 3 Day Select and Ground shipping.

Although businesses are allowed to use their own packaging solutions, UPS will also provide Simple Rate branded packages at The UPS Store locations, at other retail outlets and through the company's Customer Technology Program page.

Regardless of how business owners prefer to utilize this new service, UPS representatives said, they can still expect the "fast transit times, guaranteed delivery, convenient pickup options and more than 50,000 drop-off locations" that the company prides itself on offering.

Andrew Martins

Andrew Martins is an award-winning journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining business.com and Business News Daily, he wrote for a regional publication and served as the managing editor for six weekly papers that spanned four counties. Currently, he is responsible for reviewing tax software and online fax services. He is a New Jersey native and a first-generation Portuguese American, and he has a penchant for the nerdy.