Recently, in working on several different accounts but using one particular carrier, I noticed the same anomaly. In the billing data, there were shipments that showed “no-zone” as the rated zone (most shipments are zone 2 to 8 for domestic and A-Z for international). And these “no zone” shipments had zero discount. The shipments appeared to be more tracking-sensitive than service-sensitive.

All were destined for Puerto Rico, and the rates are pretty expensive when compared to domestic transactions.

For example, a five-pound, two-day shipment costs:

UPS $47.84

Fedex $46.90

It’s not widely publicized that Priority Mail via the US Postal Service flies on the FedEx network, and because of is compact geographic size, delivery within Puerto Rico is traditionally very efficient.

A Priority Mail five-pound piece going to Puerto Rico is a zone 8 and costs $23.15 (less if you can use some of the flat-rate options using free USPS packaging).

You can see that you need a very significant discount from the integrators to achieve the price point of the USPS for shipments to Puerto Rico.

You may be leaving a lot of money on the table if you have overlooked Puerto Rico in your contract. Have someone audit your invoices this week with a specific focus on this lane. Search for PR as the state. You might just stumble on savings to pay for those holiday purchases.

Jerry Hempstead, AKA Mr. Parcel due to his extensive experience in the small-package industry, can be reached at