USPS Closed Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Correction to our previous post.

USPS will suspend regular mail deliveries and close retail services tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec 5. Chit Chats will still be able to hand off packages to USPS tomorrow morning however there may be processing and tracking delays with USPS.

Packages dropped off on Tuesday, Dec 4 at a Chit Chats branch will be handed off to USPS on Wednesday, Dec 5.

President Donald J. Trump has proclaimed Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning in remembrance of former President George H.W. Bush. As mentioned this may affect delivery times and tracking updates with USPS.

This will not affect processing times for our Chit Chats Canada Tracked, Chit Chats International Standard, Asendia and UPS Mail Innovations packages.

The Chit Chats Team

 

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

2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Holiday shipping deadlines

UPDATE November 8, 2018:

We have added deadlines for our International carriers and we have adjusted a few deadlines based on the higher volumes expected for the season. We have also included dates for Alberta in preparation for the opening of our Calgary branch.

The Chit Chats Team

 

It’s that time of year – the holidays are around the corner and we know that you probably want to set shipping deadlines on your website to ensure orders get to your customers in time. To help you plan ahead we’ve gathered shipping cut-off dates for the different carriers so that shipments arrive before December 25, 2018. We’ll also be releasing our holiday hours of operation soon.

Some useful tips:

  • The days leading up to Christmas fall on a weekend. Carriers have limited hours over the weekend, so be sure to plan accordingly.
  • Carriers typically extend or suspend their service guarantees around the holidays. If your package needs to arrive by a certain date, make sure you’re aware of these changes. Visit the respective carrier websites for more details.
  • References

Most carriers will suggest mail-by dates for the holiday season. Find the recommended deadlines below.

Don’t forget packages need to be received by Chit Chats prior to the cut-off dates for carriers and this varies by region. We’ve added region specific cut-off dates for BC, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

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.

Canada Post Strike 2018

Looking for an alternative to Canada Post during the possible strike? Chit Chats is your shipping solution. In the face of the looming Canada Post strike, Canadian businesses can rely on Chit Chats to provide a cost effective shipping option that offers value added services like tracking, insurance and faster delivery to the U.S. and worldwide.

Offering access to USPS postage and other carriers, businesses can use Chit Chats to alleviate concerns of how the strike will impact their shipping. A Canada Post strike would cripple many businesses as they rely on the mail service not only to ship their products but many businesses also rely on Canada Post to get paid or pay suppliers.

By choosing Chit Chats, businesses can take advantage of cheaper shipping options when compared to Canada Post can save businesses up to 70% on postage costs. Not only can you save up to 70% on postage, you can easily get estimates and create postage labels from the comfort of your home.

Chit Chats does utilize Canada Post for shipments destined within Canada and the team is working on offering a solution should Canada Post go on strike. Please be aware that if Canada Post does strike, there may be delays with any Canadian bound shipments that are in transit during the time of strike.

Updates on alternatives will be provided as soon as details are confirmed as we have received many inquiries from businesses who are worried about how this will impact them.

Understanding businesses and being able to help Canadians is part of Chit Chats mission. From humble beginnings, Chit Chats started out of a green station wagon and Derek Nolan’s efforts to reduce shipping his books from Canada to the U.S. He realized he could drive across the border to the U.S. himself and thereby take advantage of the United States Postal Service to ship his books to his customers at a fraction of the price of Canada Post. Before he knew it other book sellers started paying him to take their books and Chit Chats was born. Having seen how difficult it was to compete in the ecommerce world, Derek Nolan saw the biggest pain point for many businesses were shipping costs.

Chit Chats offers an option beyond Canada Post where it not only levels the playing field, businesses can start growing by opening up their market place beyond Canada where they once thought they could not compete.

Sign up for a free account and start saving today. 

USPS Compliance Regulations

We previously communicated some restrictions specific to the transportation of batteries which fall under the Hazardous Materials regulations of USPS.

We have recently received further clarification from USPS on the transport of all Hazardous Material including, but not limited to the following:

Please review the following instructions and specific restrictions on the handling, labelling and shipping of Hazardous Materials. These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of all handlers, and to ensure the safe and appropriate transportation of the items.

Please also note, if items which fall under the category of Hazardous Materials are found to be non-compliant with the following restrictions the items may be rejected and returned.

The full details of these restrictions can be viewed in USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.

726 Postal Service Handling

726.1 Acceptance Personnel

Note: For safety reasons, mailpieces containing hazardous materials that are not eligible for air transportation cannot pay postage at an Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, or First-Class Mail price, and must be marked “Surface Mail” or “Surface Mail Only.”

327 Transportation Requirements

327.2 Air Transportation Prohibitions

All mailable hazardous materials sent as Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail, or First-Class Package Service, must meet the requirements for air transportation. The following types of hazardous materials are always prohibited on air transportation regardless of class of mail:

  1. Explosives.
  2. Anything susceptible to damage or that can become harmful because of changes in temperature or atmospheric pressures unless protected against the effects of such changes.
  3. Magnetic material that has a field strength sufficient to cause a compass deviation at a distance of 7 feet or more from any point on the outer packaging.
  4. Flammable materials (gases, liquids, and solids).
  5. Radioactive materials.
  6. UN3090 lithium metal batteries (including lithium alloy batteries) and UN3480 lithium-ion batteries (including lithium polymer batteries).

Chit Chats offers rates for USPS’ Parcel Select Service which can be used to ship Hazardous Materials which are prohibited from air transportation.

The USPS Surface Transportation Only label must also be attached to shipments which contain Hazardous Material as a further assurance of the accurate sortation of the shipment. Please see one of our representatives in branch to request a label for your shipment.

 

Package Requirements For Batteries

Shipping Batteries to the U.S.

Some batteries are considered hazardous materials by carriers. Certain types of batteries require to be clearly identified on the packaging so that carriers know the packages contain such materials and can handle them appropriately.

Lithium and nonspillable wet batteries sent through USPS can only be shipped via USPS Parcel Select Service. They are strictly prohibited from being shipped via USPS First Class or Priority Mail Services.

Please note, any hazardous materials, such as batteries, being shipped via USPS Parcel Select must also be labelled with a Surface Transportation Only sticker on the package. This helps to further ensure the safety of the handlers and the proper transportation of the package.

Lithium Batteries

  • If a lithium battery is not installed in the equipment it powers it may only be sent by ground mail (i.e. USPS Parcel Select).
  • If a lithium battery is installed in the equipment it powers it may be sent by air or ground mail.

Except as provided above, individual lithium metal (or lithium alloy) and lithium-ion (or lithium polymer) batteries (without equipment) are mailable in limited quantities via surface transportation only, provided the batteries are in the originally sealed packaging, and packaged and marked as described in 349.221 and 349.222, as applicableThese batteries must be marked with the corresponding ID numbers:

  • Lithium-ion Battery, UN3480.
  • Lithium Metal Battery, UN3090.
  • Lithium-ion Battery contained in equipment, UN3481.
  • Lithium-ion Battery packed with equipment, UN3481.
  • Lithium Metal Battery contained in equipment, UN3091.
  • Lithium Metal Battery packed with equipment, UN 3091.

Required Packaging for Lithium Batteries

  • Except for mailpieces containing button cell batteries properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate, mailpieces containing mailable lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries must be rigid, sealed, and of adequate size, so the lithium battery mark can be affixed to the address side without the mark being folded.
  • Packaging must be strong enough to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during normal handling in the mail.
  • The use of padded and poly bags as outer packaging is permitted only when the mailpieces contain button cell batteries meeting the classification criteria in 349.11d, the batteries are properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate, and the batteries are afforded adequate protection by that equipment.

Markings for Lithium Batteries

Lithium metal batteries properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate:

  • Except for mailpieces containing button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards), or no more than 4 lithium metal cells or 2 lithium metal batteries installed in the equipment they operate, mailpieces containing lithium metal batteries must bear a DOT-approved lithium battery mark applied to the address side of the mailpiece.
  • For surface transportation, the parcel must be plainly and durably marked on the address side with “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only” and “ORM-D,” immediately following or below the proper shipping name (e.g. Consumer Commodity).
  • The mark must indicate the ID Number of the battery.
  • The mark must also include a telephone number for those who need to obtain additional information.

Nonspillable Batteries

  • May only be sent by ground mail (i.e. USPS Parcel Select).

A nonspillable wet battery containing liquid electrolyte is permitted to be mailed only if the battery casing is completely sealed to prevent the liquid corrosive from spilling during Postal Service handling. Nonspillable batteries with UN2800 are prohibited in international mail but may be sent as domestic mail via surface transportation.

Primary Receptacle

  • The nonspillable battery must be capable of withstanding the vibration and pressure differential tests cited in 49 CFR 173.159(f) (1) and (2).

Absorbent and Cushioning Material

  • The nonspillable battery must be protected from short circuits with protective or cushioning material.
  • A noncombustible material that is capable of absorbing all liquid in case of leakage must surround the primary receptacle.

Required Packaging for Nonspillable Batteries

  • The nonspillable battery must be securely packaged in a strong fiberboard box.
  • Only one nonspillable battery is allowed per mailpiece.
  • The total weight of a single mailpiece cannot exceed 25 pounds.

Markings for Nonspillable Batteries

  • The outer packaging must be plainly and durably marked on the address with the text “NONSPILLABLE BATTERY, UN2800.”
  • For surface transportation, the parcel must be plainly and durably marked on the address side with “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only” and “ORM-D,” immediately following or below the proper shipping name (e.g., Consumer Commodity).

Labels and Stickers

USPS provides Surface Transportation Only labels that must be adhered to packages that contain lithium or nonspillable batteries.

Chit Chats branches have labels on hand to easily identify your packages so that when we cross the border we are compliant with U.S. customs and our carriers.

If you’re unsure or have questions, contact us today.

USPS Global Direct Entry Wholesaler – GDE

Global Direct Entry with Chit Chats:

As a USPS Global Direct Entry Wholesaler (GDE), Chit Chats is able to provide Canadian ecommerce businesses access to all USPS tracked domestic and international parcel services. We are recognized as a fully compliant partner of USPS.

We are a North American leader in shipping and logistics and have been directly injecting packages into USPS mail stream for over 15 years, facilitating a 2-4 day delivery across the United States, at a significantly lower cost than traditional local providers or Canadian carriers.

What GDE means for you:

* Reliable and cost effective tax and duty free US Customs clearance (some restrictions apply)
* Access to USPS postage rates, tracking and quick delivery options
* Daily injection of US domestic and international bound packages into the USPS mail stream
* Technical assistance before, during and after moving over to USPS direct entry
* With reduced shipping costs, our service increases your sales potential
* Confidence in working with a knowledgeable and experienced cross border official USPS GDE partner

USPS Partnership Benefits:

* High quality delivery services at cost effective prices
* Tracking and delivery notification
* Fast transit times between Canada, US and key international markets
* Use of USPS shipping supplies (boxes and envelopes)
* No residential surcharges
* No fuel surcharges

Confidence is key when shipping your products worldwide. Through Chit Chats’ USPS partnership as Global Direct Entry Wholesaler, you can have confidence that your business will grow and succeed with us as your official global provider of USPS direct entry services from Canada.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

Changes to USPS First Class International Flat

Did you know that USPS no longer allows merchandise to be shipped using First Class Mail International Flat? This came into effect January 21, 2018.What does this mean for you? Only documents are approved to be sent using this mail service.

What is considered a document?

  • Audit and business records
  • Personal correspondence
  • Circulars
  • Pamphlets
  • Advertisements
  • Written instruments not intended to be resold
  • Money orders, checks, and similar items that cannot be negotiated or converted into cash without forgery

What is no longer allowed?

  • CDs, DVDs, flash drives, video and cassette tapes, and other digital and electronic storage media (regardless of whether they are blank or contain electronic documents or other pre-recorded media)
  • Artwork
  • Collector or antique document items
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Printed music
  • Printed educational or test material
  • Player piano rolls
  • Commercial photographs, blueprints and engineering drawings
  • Film and negatives
  • X-rays
  • Separation negatives

As a Chit Chats client if you are shipping anything other than documents you will have two options to ship internationally:

  1. USPS First Class Package or
  2. Chit Chats Standard International Service

Tip: USPS First Class International package includes tracking to most international destinations and to ensure this option is available select ‘Thick Envelope’ in the package details.

Chit Chats International Standard Service

A great alternative to USPS First Class International Package is Chit Chats International Standard Service* which offers low rates that make it affordable to send to many international destinations. The delivery time ranges from 7 to 22 business days which is the same as USPS. This service can be used for any packages up to 2 kg.

For example, 0.25 kg to England would cost $6.18 using Chit Chats International service versus Canada Post which could cost you anywhere from $20 or more.

Stay tuned as Chit Chats will soon be offering another discounted international service with tracking and fast delivery! We are committed to providing the best rates to our clients and always looking for ways to provide alternate shipping solutions.

*Delivery time can range depending on the destination country and tracking is not included.

 

Chit Chats Referral Program

Canada Post Alternatives

Looking for an alternative to Canada Post during the possible strike? Chit Chats is your shipping solution. In the face of the looming Canada Post strike, Canadian businesses can rely on Chit Chats to provide a cost effective shipping option that offers value added services like tracking, insurance and faster delivery to the U.S. and worldwide.

Offering access to USPS postage and other carriers, businesses can use Chit Chats to alleviate concerns of how the strike will impact their shipping. A Canada Post strike would cripple many businesses as they rely on the mail service not only to ship their products but many businesses also rely on Canada Post to get paid or pay suppliers.

By choosing Chit Chats, businesses can take advantage of cheaper shipping options when compared to Canada Post can save businesses up to 70% on postage costs. Not only can you save up to 70% on postage, you can easily get estimates and create postage labels from the comfort of your home.

Chit Chats does utilize Canada Post for shipments destined within Canada and the team is working on offering a solution should Canada Post go on strike. Updates on alternatives will be provided as soon as details are confirmed as we have received many inquiries from businesses who are worried about how this will impact them.

Understanding businesses and being able to help Canadians is part of Chit Chats mission. From humble beginnings, Chit Chats started out of a green station wagon and Derek Nolan’s efforts to reduce shipping his books from Canada to the U.S. He realized he could drive across the border to the U.S. himself and thereby take advantage of the United States Postal Service to ship his books to his customers at a fraction of the price of Canada Post. Before he knew it other book sellers started paying him to take their books and Chit Chats was born. Having seen how difficult it was to compete in the ecommerce world, Derek Nolan saw the biggest pain point for many businesses were shipping costs.

Chit Chats offers an option beyond Canada Post where it not only levels the playing field, businesses can start growing by opening up their market place beyond Canada where they once thought they could not compete.

Sign up for a free account and start saving today. 

Chit Chats Referral Program