On May 31 this year, the USPS enacted several changes to its rates and services. To help you understand how this impacts your business, here are some of the key takeaways you should know about.
No changes to Priority Mail
In September 2014, the USPS lowered priority mail rates for online retailers using electronic postage. These rates will remain the same – which could make Priority Mail an attractive alternative to other carriers who now follow dimensional weight pricing.
Free package tracking
With the exception of Standard Mail, package tracking is now free for all domestic mail classes. If you’re using USPS, you’ll be able to meticulously track your shipments with up to 11 scan events.
“First-Class Mail Parcel (Retail)” is now “First-Class Package Service”
Not only is the name of this service changing, the rates are too. The price of this service is expected to increase by about 30 cents per package – if you ship at the post office. If you print your postage or shipping labels online, the increase is only about 13 cents per package.
Parcel Select undergoes rate overhaul
Parcel Select, which is exclusively available to those who print postage online, is undergoing a pricing overhaul. On average, rates are expected to increase by $5 per package - but this mostly applies to heavy packages in Zones 5 and up:
- For parcels weighing less than 5 lbs., rates should only increase by about 70 cents per package.
- For Zones 1-4, packages weighing 5-24 lbs. will decrease in price by 14.8% or $9.86 a package on average.
- Rates will remain the same for Zones 1-4 for packages weighing between 25 lbs. and 70 lbs.
Shipping to Canada will now use US zone-based pricing
Zone-based pricing will now apply to Priority Mail International packages headed to Canada. Rather than one flat rate that applies to the whole country of Canada, shipping rates will be based on the seven US pricing zones. Because the new rates are based on the routes within the postal zone, your rates may vary. If you’re nearby a major city with an international mail processing facility, you may be able to save an average of $8 per package – thanks to the efficiency. But, if you’re far from such facilities, your rates may increase by an average of $6.