What to Expect with Postage Rates in 2022

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced plans to adjust postage rates upwards starting January 2022. This includes increasing the rates for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services by 3.1%. The planned increase is part of the Postmaster General’s strategy to implement the controversial 10-year plan aptly called “Delivering for America.” The reasons for the increase in postage rates include:

To Raise Extra Revenue

For more than a decade now, U.S. Postal Service has been incurring huge financial losses annually. For instance, in the fiscal year 2020 alone, USPS made a staggering $9.2 billion in losses, making the total losses incurred in 14 fiscal years surpass the $87 billion mark. Through his 10-year plan, Louis DeJoy, the current Postmaster General is determined to make the service profitable again. Therefore, the increase in postage rates is aimed at raising extra revenue for the USPS. The extra revenue is meant for the following:

  • Cover infrastructure maintenance costs – The USPS has retail centers and delivery units across the U.S. which require maintenance practices such as fixing roofs and air conditioning systems. Due to a lack of finances, the Postmaster General has raised postage rates to raise money for the repair and replacement of these and other infrastructures.
  • Cover additional operational costs in the holidays – The U.S. Postal Service largely relies on the sale of its products and services to finance its operations. Operating on a deficit, it is difficult for the service to manage increased operational costs during holidays. That’s why postage rates have gone up for the holidays, albeit temporarily. This is necessary to ensure that the service has enough funds to provide efficient postage services and reduce possible delays. Lack of enough funds created massive delays in December 2020 where 3.5 million packages picked in a day didn’t reach their destinations on time. This year, the Postmaster General is determined to improve performance by availing enough funds to hire enough workers, purchase enough equipment, eliminate delays, and improve efficiency in general.

To Stay Competitive

The USPS Postmaster General DeJoy has raised postage rates to competitive levels. This is because, during holidays, the demand for courier services typically goes up, and this means that businesses in this industry have to increase their prices to strike a balance in the market. Therefore, the increase in the postage rates is also aimed at keeping USPS competitive against other courier services in the U.S.

To Reduce Red Ink

Due to massive losses over the years, the U.S. Postal Service has been operating in debt, and this has made service delivery difficult. The pandemic even made the situation worse by increasing demand for deliveries. Also, the COVID-19 recession further made operations difficult for the service. To revive the service and reduce losses, Postmaster General DeJoy opted to increase charges starting January 2022.

How MDS can Help with Your Shipping Needs in 2022

Located in Southern California, MDS is your custom courier & mail delivery service expert for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

Why Has There Been an Increasing Demand for Cannabis?

The U.S. cannabis market has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years. Experts predict the U.S. cannabis market will reach $30 billion in market capitalization by 2025, propelled by the increasing demand for cannabis products. Here’s more detailed information on this topic.

Reasons for the Increasing Demand for Cannabis

In 2020, the U.S. cannabis industry was the fastest-growing industry in the country.  The factors responsible for the growth include, among others:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic – During the pandemic, only essential businesses, including dispensaries, had legal permission to operate in the U.S. This was one of the government’s strategies to minimize movements and curb the spread of covid. As such, more investors entered the cannabis adult-use market by distributing cannabis products to consumers through dispensaries.
  • Creation of new adult-use markets – In 2020, more states legalized both recreational and medical marijuana. This led to more adult-use markets sprouting in different states, and this contributed a lot to the increased demand.
  • Increased consumption of cannabis products – The legalization of cannabis in many states made more people gain the confidence of using it legally, resulting in increased demand and a high consumption rate.
  • Changing attitudes towards marijuana – For centuries, cannabis has been termed an illicit drug. However, with time, more people are becoming aware of the medical benefits that this substance can offer. As such, the support of marijuana legalization is increasing in the U.S. by day, compelling people to change their attitudes towards it. For instance, in the last decade, the number of elderly people using cannabis doubled, and more states are considering legalizing it.

Top Weed Delivery Services in Orange County

The widespread legalization of marijuana across the U.S. has led to an increase in demand for cannabis products. Moreover, the increased adoption of e-commerce during COVID-19 means consumers can now order cannabis products online from the privacy of their homes and get their orders delivered straight to their doorsteps. Consequently, more delivery services are entering the cannabis delivery business. Top cannabis delivery services in Orange County, CA, include, Eaze, Bud man, 420 Central, Glassdoor, and Amuse, among others. Uber Eats is the next delivery service in line, intending to partner with cannabis manufacturers and sellers to deliver this product to people. In a recent announcement, the online food delivery service expressed its intention to partner with some of the popular cannabis retailers to deliver cannabis products on their behalf. Through the Uber Eats app, customers will be able to order cannabis products but pick them up at the retailers’ stores.

How MDS can Help

If you buy or sell cannabis products online, you need a safe and reliable courier service to deliver your products. Located in Southern California, MDS is your custom courier & mail delivery service expert for all your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

Backlog at California’s Ports and Its Impact

The shipping industry is going through one of its most uncertain slowdowns in 30 years due to economic disruptions such as labor shortages. U.S. ports face extensive backlogs of cargo ships, particularly in Southern California. The backlog is so intense that many ships must float 20 miles away from the shore to avoid other shipping traffic.

The Port of Los Angeles has dealt with nearly 500,000 shipping containers, many of which are larger than the average containers from 20 years ago. These 20-foot containers store an estimated 12 million metric tons of goods.

By late 2021 the nation’s largest ports have been operating at 60-70 percent capacity. Shipping firms are finding it difficult to meet the increasing demands of delivery schedules with a reduced workforce.

Addressing Labor Shortages

Giving existing logistics employees longer working hours may help mitigate the strain on supply chains, but it won’t be sufficient to resolve the immediate problems. Extending hours means pushing work into the evening, which is not convenient for truck drivers or warehouse workers.

Labor shortages are based on a mix of issues, many of which stem from the pandemic. A record number of employees have quit their jobs after nearly two years of rethinking their careers. Suppliers and logistics firms have not been able to fill positions fast enough to meet delivery demands. The pandemic itself has triggered higher demand for shipping due to lockdown situations.

The combination of equipment and operator shortages is making shipping delays worse. The strain can be felt throughout the supply chain up to the end consumers, who have to pay higher prices for slower deliveries.

Resolving Storage Issues

Many West Coast warehouses have limited space available for storage and often operate at full capacity. An affordable solution when extra space is needed is to rent a 20-foot shipping container. According to the Wall Street Journal, the overall Western U.S. shipping industry is near full capacity with a 3.6 percent vacancy rate.

About a third of containers stay at ports for up to five days, which is three times longer than normal. President Biden has ordered ports to stay open 24 hours, but it has had limited effects on reducing the bottlenecks.

Rising Prices and Growing Issues

In November 2021, the U.S. government reported consumer prices had skyrocketed 6 percent over a year. It marked the fastest price surge in three decades. Many logistics experts believe that supply chain bottlenecks will continue through 2022. Some experts warn this crisis could last through 2023 as well.

Supply chains are going through a very challenging period that may take time to resolve. In the meantime, if you need a reliable delivery service in Southern California, turn to the leaders in your region. MDS is your custom courier and mail delivery service expert for all of your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

Smart Ways to Keep Your Holiday Packages Safe from Porch Pirates

You have a wide range of options to protect your holiday packages from getting stolen by thieves. One of the most effective solutions to scare away suspicious people is to install security cameras and an alarm system. Whether this system is utilized or not, it serves as a strong deterrent for criminals. Here are several other ways to protect your packages.

Install a Package Locker or Hideaway

Add a package locker near your mailbox, in which a key will be required to gain access. It’s a secure solution that criminals can’t easily crack. So, the combination of locks, cameras, and alarms can immensely reduce the risk of losing Christmas gifts to criminals. Also, a similar and more subtle option is a hideaway, an outdoor storage box that looks like outdoor furniture.

Deliver Packages to Another Location

You might consider sending gift packages to your office or some other safe location. Getting a Post Office Box is helpful, although many people don’t see the need to have it all year round. Another option is to send packages to a local UPS or FedEx store in your neighborhood from where you can pick them up. You can track the delivery status online and receive a text or email when the package has arrived.

Use Smart Technology

These days smart technology has greatly enhanced security. For example, Amazon Key is a service where you give a delivery driver access to open your garage and leave a package. It’s a convenient way to ensure that your packages are delivered to a safe place. It’s simple to set up and involves linking an app with your garage.

Another smart solution is to use a Package Guard, a device through which you can coordinate with the delivery person. It sounds like a high-pitched alarm when someone tries to remove the package from the device. It also sends you an immediate alert.

Alert Your Neighbors

Getting to know your neighbors has many benefits, including working together to protect each other’s property. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, tell them to notify you whenever they see suspicious activity at your home. Sometimes you may also need their help to watch for deliveries and store items for you.

Control Delivery Time

One of the best ways to ensure your packages get to you safely is by setting a narrow delivery time window. Some companies are flexible enough to allow you to schedule a specific delivery time so that you can plan on being there to pick up the item.

Don’t let porch pirates ruin your holidays. Take proactive steps to protect the gifts you order through a trusted and reliable delivery service. MDS is your custom courier and mail delivery service expert for all of your mail and delivery needs in Orange County. Contact us for more information today.

Upcoming Hospital Projects in Orange County

A few major new hospital construction projects are developing in Irvine, one of America’s healthiest cities. Here are details about these stunning construction projects.

New UC Irvine Medical Center

UC Irvine, which spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on medical research, has invested in building a $1 billion medical center on its campus. The facility is called UCI Medical Center, which will accommodate 144 beds devoted to acute cancer care. It will also house centers for ambulatory care and cancer research. Wellness programs, clinical trials, and emergency services will also be present on campus.

The 800,000 square-foot facility is expected to be completed by 2025 but will begin treating its first patients in 2022. It will contribute to sustainability on both environmental and economic levels, as it will have built-in efficiencies from the start. This ambitious project has created 2,500 healthcare and construction jobs.

Another example of how the new medical facility contributes to a sustainable workplace is its use of outdoor space and campus-generated green energy. The outdoor environment provides healing gardens and trails to appreciate nature.

Financial Support Grows for City of Hope

City of Hope is a nonprofit cancer research and treatment facility in Irvine that has recently received a generous gift from real estate giant Lennar to support its development. The donation of $50 million will cover costs of transformation toward the organization’s goals for a $1 billion expansion project. The cancer center is expected to open in 2022.

Covering 190,000 square feet in Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods, the center will be called The Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope. An essential focus of the facility will be on extreme cancer cases and advanced cancer treatment.

Another addition to City of Hope will be the 2025 arrival of an inpatient specialty hospital devoted to cancer treatment. This new facility is significant because, in the past, about 1 in 5 cancer patients at City of Hope have had to seek advanced cancer treatment outside of Orange County.

CEO Robert Stone at City of Hope has stated to the press that Lennar’s donation can be used to speed up clinical trials and prevention programs in Irvine. Some of the Lennar funds will be used for translational research for City of Hope and the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The money may also be used for future construction on campus. The center aims to accommodate families and individuals who need advanced cancer care.

Irvine is an attractive city for business development and expansion for many reasons. Warm weather most of the year, a beautiful coastal region, and a friendly business environment are key reasons why Irvine is a hot spot for major industries such as healthcare to innovate.

Keeping pace with developments in Orange County is our business. Contact us here at MDS for information on how we can improve your business delivery. We serve Southern California and are ready to provide fast and efficient courier services.