Update: TSA Restrictions

We’re always trying to make shipping easier and smoother for you, which is why we’ve been in contact with our partners at Asendia and UPS MI to get clarification on some TSA restricted items.

We’re happy to announce a couple of important updates to these restrictions.

Now Accepted:

  • Small non-rechargeable batteries and devices containing them (i.e. Alkaline batteries such as A or AA)
  • Small quantities of commercial magnets or magnetic items (i.e. fridge or craft magnets)

Please note that while some items within these categories are no longer restricted, there are still items which cannot be shipped through either of these services.

Still Restricted:

  • Lithium or other rechargeable batteries and devices containing them (i.e. laptops, smartphones, wireless headphones etc.)
  • Large quantities of magnets, and strong or industrial magnets or magnetic materials (i.e. shipments of a magnetic field strength greater than 0.00525 gauss at 4.5 metres/15 feet.)

For a more detailed list of TSA restricted items please see our Shipment Compliance Declaration or visit our Prohibited Items page.

If you have questions or unsure if your product is compliant send us a message at support@chitchats.com.


Asendia Updates for BC clients

For our clients in the BC region the Asendia pick up schedule will change starting Monday, Feb 11.

Currently for BC clients Asendia shipments:

  • Dropped off Tuesday to Thursday are handed off to Asendia on Friday
  • Dropped off Friday to Monday are handed off to Asendia on Tuesday

Starting Monday, Feb 11 Asendia shipments:

  • Dropped off Monday to Wednesday will be handed off to Asendia on Thursday
  • Dropped off Thursday to Friday will be handed off to Asendia on Monday

How to Track Asendia Shipments

To find the latest tracking updates for Asendia Priority Tracked shipments, enter the secondary tracking number from Asendia’s tracking page on:

  1. The partner carrier’s tracking page (USPS, Swiss Post, La Poste) or
  2. The destination country’s local postal carrier’s tracking page

You can reference our previous blog post with further details and examples.

Annual Postage Rate Increases

It’s that time of year when carriers increase their rates and we’ve summarized some of these changes. The annual postage rate increases will go into effect Sunday, January 27 for the following services:

  • Chit Chats Canada
  • Chit Chats International Standard
  • USPS
  • UPS Mail Innovations
  • Asendia

There are important changes with USPS that may impact you:

USPS First Class Mail Letters

  • The First Class Mail letter (1 oz) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office is increasing by five cents to $0.55 from $0.50
  • Each additional ounce for a First Class Mail letter will cost an extra $0.15 (a decrease from $0.21 in 2018)
  • Postcard and First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope rates are not increasing

USPS First Class Packages

  • A major change that will affect many sellers is with USPS First Class Packages which will move from weight based pricing to zone and weight based pricing like Priority Mail
    • This will largely impact packages going further across the country (i.e. Zone 8)
    • 13 oz packages increases in all zones while heavier items 15 oz will see an incremental increase if at all

USPS Priority Mail

  • USPS is extending dimensional weight to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express for packages larger than one cubic foot, with the dimensional weight divisor changing to 166 from 194
    • Dimensional weight changes won’t be implemented until June 23, 2019 to allow time for adjustments. 
      • Dimensional weight = (Length x Width x Height)/166
      • Balloon rate for Priority Mail on Zones 1-4 and Parcel Select will be eliminated, which may benefit those who ship large, light packages

Rate cards will be updated on the website soon.

 

American Thanksgiving Holiday Shipment Processing

Shipment processing during American Thanksgiving Holiday 

Below you will find shipment processing times for the upcoming American Thanksgiving Holiday which falls on Thursday, November 22, 2018Please keep in mind that there may be some tracking delays as it is a U.S. holiday. We recommend planning in advance and to advise your customers accordingly. 

  • All USPS shipments
    • No deliveries tomorrow, Thursday November 23 (USPS is closed)
    • Deliveries resumes Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24.
    • Manifest shipments received on Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22 to be delivered to USPS on Friday, November 23
  • UPS and FedEx shipments received on Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22 will be delivered to Border Mail and Parcel (FedEx)  and UPS Store for UPS shipments on Friday, November 23
    • No deliveries tomorrow, Thursday November 23 (Border Mail and Parcel and UPS Store is closed)
    • Deliveries resumes Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24.
    • Manifest shipments received on Wednesday, November 21 and Thursday, November 22 to be delivered to USPS on Friday, November 23
  • All Asendia and UPS Mail Innovations
    • No deliveries tomorrow, Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, November 25. Deliveries will resume on Monday, November 26.
    • Manifest shipments received between Wednesday, November 21 to Sunday, November 25 to be delivered off to AMS on Monday, November 26.
  • Chit Chats Canada and Chit Chats International will not be affected.

Happy shipping!

The Chit Chats Team

Postage adjustments

What is a postage adjustment?

Carriers have different methods of verifying that correct postage rates have been paid by the shipper.

Previously if postage was underpaid, packages would be returned to sender or the recipient would be required to pay the postage due on delivery – not the best experience for your customers, as it would delay packages or require them to pay postage due upon delivery. On the other hand, if any postage was overpaid, there wasn’t a way to offer a credit back to you, the shipper.

The most common reasons for incorrect postage are:

  • Incorrectly entered weight and dimensions
  • Selecting the incorrect service or
  • Incorrect use of USPS packaging

What shipments will be affected?

USPS recently deployed an automated process for verifying that the correct rate has been paid for shipments. This new automated process called Automated Package Verification (APV) allows USPS to determine if postage is either underpaid or overpaid. USPS has begun passing back postage adjustments to us and in order to keep our rates low and provide the best shipping options we will soon implement postage adjustments. To be consistent with USPS and the other carriers we support, postage adjustments will apply to all carriers and all postage types. By ensuring postage is paid correctly we can continue to offer the best shipping prices and options to you.

How does this affect you?

For the majority of our clients, this will have little impact. The shipping process remains the same and postage adjustments will only apply to shipments with incorrect postage paid. Postage adjustments will also update the corresponding delivery fee if applicable.

As a Chit Chats client it is always important to ensure that you:

  • Accurately enter weight and dimensions of the package
  • Input the correct address information
  • Use the right packaging
  • Select the correct postage type if you use carrier supplied packaging
    • For example:
      • If you ship using a USPS Priority Flat Rate Medium Box, ensure you select the corresponding carrier supplied package option for the correct postage rate
      • If you ship USPS Media Mail ensure your shipment contents meet the requirements to qualify for the USPS Media Mail rate

Misrepresentation of any of these details is considered an act of mail fraud and may result in the deactivation of your account.

When will this start?

Over the next few weeks we will be sending further updates for postage adjustments applied to your account.

  • Postage adjustments will apply for both underpaid and overpaid postage.
  • If delivery fees are applicable they will also be adjusted based on the postage adjustments.
  • You will see these adjustments within your transactions summary.
  • Reference to the shipment ID will be in the transaction so it will be easy to identify which shipments the adjustments are tied to.
  • The USD to CAD conversion will be the same rate that was applied at the time the original postage was purchased.

Asendia Reminders for our BC region

We wanted to share a few updates and important reminders for our BC clients that use Asendia.

Client Support

If you have inquiries or need help, please contact us directly as our client support team is on hand to help with any questions or additional support needed for this service.

Reach us directly at support@chitchats.com or  by calling 1-844-842-8777 Monday to Friday between 9 am to 7 pm EST.

Asendia Processing

To optimize Asendia’s service for our BC clients, Chit Chats will hand off shipments on the following schedule:

  • Shipments dropped off Tuesday to Thursday will be handed off to Asendia on Friday
  • Shipments dropped off Friday to Monday will be handed off to Asendia on Tuesday

With Asendia’s launch, we have seen improvements to our international shipping times. For example, to the UK the average delivery time is around 13 business days. As this is a new service we appreciate your patience as we’ve had some learning curves to how Asendia shipments are handled.

Chit Chats and Asendia are actively continuing to improve this process. As our volume grows, we will be reviewing this schedule and will provide updates in the coming weeks.

Track Asendia Shipments

To find the latest tracking updates for Asendia Priority Tracked shipments, enter the secondary tracking number from Asendia’s tracking page on:

  1. The partner carrier’s tracking page (USPS, Swiss Post, La Poste) or
  2. The destination country’s local postal carrier’s tracking page

You can reference our previous blog post with further details and examples.

TSA Regulations 

Asendia transports shipments by air and all shipments must adhere to TSA (Transportation Secuirty Administration) requirements. If you’re unsure or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to reach us directly as we’re happy to help. You can review the common restrictions that were outlined in our previous post.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

Asendia Tracking Updates

International shipping can be tricky to grasp since different carriers are involved at different points of the journey. To help you understand how international shipping works we’ve put together this useful guide.

How Asendia works:

Asendia expedites international packages within the U.S. and then hands off to local carriers in the destination country for final mile delivery. Sometimes packages are handed off to carrier partners (i.e. USPS, Swiss Post, La Poste) before being sent to the destination country.

  • Asendia Priority Tracked is a fully tracked service that provides delivery confirmation. This is available to 45 countries.
  • Asendia Priority Airmail is a partially tracked service and does not provide delivery confirmation.

Tracking for Asendia Priority Tracked shipments can be found on our public tracking page and on Asendia’s website. Reference our support article on how to track Asendia shipments.

Since Asendia sorts packages at their international service centers in the U.S. and then forwards to the destination country, packages are handled by different carriers along the shipment’s journey. Once in the destination country, the packages are handed off to the local postal authority for the final delivery to your recipient.

Recently, we’ve noticed delays in Asendia’s tracking updates at the hand-off to the destination country’s postal authority. Updates from the local postal carrier are not being shared with Asendia in a timely manner, resulting in a lack of updates both on Asendia’s tracking page and Chit Chats’ tracking page. We understand that this may cause some confusion and wanted to advise that we are working with Asendia to find a solution. Rest assured this is not affecting delivery or last mile tracking with the local postal carrier as shipments are being delivered.

How to track Asendia Priority Tracked shipments:

To find the latest tracking updates for Asendia Priority Tracked shipments enter the secondary tracking number from Asendia’s page on:

  1. The partner carrier’s tracking page (USPS, Swiss Post, La Poste) or
  2. The destination country’s local postal carrier’s tracking page

For example the shipment below was shipped to Canada via Asendia Priority Tracked. The tracking on Asendia’s page shows the secondary tracking number. In this scenario, you can track the shipment on USPS’ website (partner carrier) or Canada Post (destination country’s local postal carrier) as the package was destined to Canada.

Asendia’s Tracking Page:

The same shipment above can be tracked on both USPS (carrier partner) and Canada Post’s (destination country’s local postal carrier) tracking page by entering the secondary tracking number:

USPS’ Tracking Page:

Canada Post Tracking Page:

As another example, packages destined to the United Kingdom are generally handled by Royal Mail. By going to Royal Mail’s tracking page and entering the secondary tracking number you will find the latest updates along with delivery confirmation.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Asendia is aware of this issue and looking to find a solution. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.

Please contact support@chitchats.com if you have further questions about Asendia tracking.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

Asendia Launching in B.C. July 3rd!

Starting on July 3rd, B.C. clients will be able to access Asendia International rates.

How it works:

Asendia expedites international packages within the U.S. and then hands off to local carriers in the destination country for final mile delivery.

Asendia offers two international service options:

Asendia International Priority Tracked

  • Fully tracked to 45 countries with delivery confirmation
  • Maximum weight 4.4 lbs / 2 kgs (some destinations will have a weight allowance up to 66 lbs / 30 kgs)
  • Delivery 4–21 business days (average 7–14 days)
  • Chit Chats Insurance available with this service

Asendia International Priority Airmail

  • Partially tracked to 113 countries
  • Maximum weight 4.4 lbs / 2 kgs
  • Delivery 4–21 business days (average 7–10 days)
  • Chit Chats Insurance is not available with this service

IMPORTANT:

Asendia transports shipments by air and all shipments must adhere to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements.

Please familiarize yourself with these restrictionsPlease note that carrier-specific restrictions are in addition to Chit Chats’ Shipping Restrictions.

As with all international destined shipments they may be subject to taxes and duties.

TIP:

Don’t forget to separate all your Canadian, international and U.S. bound shipments when you drop and go. You will need to batch these shipments and you can find instructions on how to batch here.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

Launching Asendia in the Atlantic Region

Starting June 1st, 2018, Chit Chats’ clients in the Atlantic region (New platform only) can take advantage of Asendia for international shipments.

This will coincide with DHL & Yodel services being retired along with the old manifesting system. Starting June 1st, 2018 the google manifest will no longer be accepted for Atlantic clients. Learn how to manifest on our new platform.

How it works:

Asendia expedites international packages within the U.S. and then hands off to local carriers in the destination country for final mile delivery.

Asendia offers two international service options:

Asendia International Priority Tracked

  • Fully tracked to 45 countries with delivery confirmation
  • Maximum weight 4.4 lbs (some destinations will have a weight allowance up to 66 lbs)
  • Delivery 4–21 business days (average 7–14 days)
  • Chit Chats Insurance available with this service

Asendia International Priority Airmail

  • Partially tracked to 113 countries
  • Maximum weight 4.4 lbs
  • Delivery 4–21 business days (average 7–10 days)
  • Chit Chats Insurance not available with this service

IMPORTANT:

Asendia transports shipments by air and all shipments must adhere to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements.

Please familiarize yourself with these restrictionsPlease note that carrier-specific restrictions are in addition to Chit Chats’ Shipping Restrictions.

As with all international destined shipments they may be subject to taxes and duties.

Important:

Batch your shipments

All shipments must be consolidated into plastic bags or boxes when you drop off at a Maritime Bus location or to one of our HRM drop spots. A batch label must be applied to the outside of the bag or box. Learn how to batch.

Provide detailed descriptions

Ensure a detailed description of your shipments are always provided. Generic descriptions can delay your shipments.

For example: cosmetics is too generic and a specific description is required (i.e. lipstick or facial cream).

Please contact us at support@chitchats.com if you have any questions.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program