The USPS® has proposed a price increase on its Competitive Products, also known as Shipping Services. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, these new rates for Shipping Services would take effect January 26, 2014 and would include Priority Mail Express™, Priority Mail®, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, First-Class™ Package Service, Standard Post, Domestic Extra Services, and International. The increases average 2.4%.
As part of this price adjustment, significant changes include:
- New Priority Mail Express 10:30 a.m. delivery time option for an additional $5.00
- New Priority Mail annual volume thresholds for cubic pricing and other commercial plus offerings will be lowered to 50,000 pieces
- New Premium Forwarding Service pricing options for commercial customers
- New Flat Rate Commercial Base and Commercial Plus prices for Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International
- New: A fee of $0.20 will be assessed on any commercial parcel that lacks an Intelligent Mail® Package Barcode (IMpb™)
- New: Shifting Standard Post Zones 1 – 4 to Priority Mail, unless ground shipping is required
- New: For both Priority Mail Express™ and Priority Mai®, a new Zone 9 is added for mailings to and from the Freely Associated States (Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau).
Highlights of the new retail pricing for domestic Priority Mail Express™ products include:
- Retail Flat Rate, Padded Flat Rate and Legal Flat Rate envelopes — $19.99
- Flat Rate Boxes — $44.95
Domestic pricing for Priority Mail® Flat Rate products will remain affordable in 2014, with retail prices starting as low as $5.60. Most domestic Priority Mail® products qualify for free insurance up to $50 or $100, and one, two or three date-specific delivery is based on destination ZIP Code. Improved USPS Tracking™ makes it easier to see packages at pick up, confirmed final delivery and many points in between.
“The Postal Service remains the best in value in the shipping business,” said Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer. “We continue to offer excellent domestic Flat Rate shipping with a price that doesn’t vary by destination.”
In addition to the price adjustments, I expect in the near future the Postal Service™ will release its Final Rule on the IMpb™ as well as specific shipping standards changes. These documents will provide more information about how the prices and fees will be implemented and allow for a full assessment of the impact to our clients and the mailing industry at large.
For more information about the changes to Shipping Services prices, read the USPS release. The entire proposal can be accessed by going to http://www.prc.gov/Docs/88/88270/Notice%20CP2014-5%20FINAL.pdf