The United States Postal Service will implement temporary price increases across its Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package, Parcel Select Ground, Retail Ground and Parcel Return services starting at 12 a.m. on Oct. 3. These temporary adjustments will expire at 12 a.m. on Dec. 26.
The weeks between Oct. 3 and Dec. 25 represent the highest-volume period for the USPS, and the price increases (approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission) are designed to offset additional handling costs. The USPS implemented a similar price increase late in 2020.
See below for more details on these price increases, as well as what you can do to help limit shipping costs for your ecommerce business around peak season.
How Much Will USPS Prices Increase?
The approved price increases starting Oct. 3 include commercial and retail domestic shipments. They apply to the 6 services listed above: Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package, Parcel Select Ground, Retail Ground and Parcel Return. The specific price increases will be:
- 75¢ increase for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes.
- 25¢ increase for Zones 1–4 for shipments weighing 0–10 pounds.
- 75¢ increase for Zones 5–9 for shipments weighing 0–10 pounds.
- $1.50 increase for Zones 1–4 for shipments weighing 11–20 pounds.
- $3.00 increase for Zones 5–9 for shipments weighing 11–20 pounds.
- $2.50 increase for Zones 1–4 for shipments weighing 21–70 pounds.
- $5.00 increase for Zones 5–9 for shipments weighing 21–70 pounds.
No international shipments will experience adjustments during the price-increase window that runs from 12 a.m. on Oct. 3 to 12 a.m. on Dec. 26.
Why is the USPS Increasing Prices?
The USPS has launched a “Delivering for America” initiative, which is a 10-year plan to achieve both financial sustainability and service excellence. As part of this initiative, the USPS has leeway to implement appropriate pricing initiatives in pursuit of the primary objectives: financial sustainability and service excellence.
The USPS has traditionally offered low postage rates. These temporary increases allow the USPS to continue offering its customers a value product while also generating additional revenue needed to offset increased operating costs during peak season.
How Should Ecommerce Businesses Handle the Increase?
Ecommerce businesses are typically shipping at their highest volumes in October, November and December. While the USPS will remain an attractive choice for fulfilling orders, you do have alternatives.
At ShipEngine, we offer 70-plus pre-built carrier integrations for our users to connect. These 70-plus integrations mean that you have options when shipping around the holidays. Connect to our parcel carriers, LTL carriers, domestic carriers, regional carriers or international carriers. You can even use multiple carriers to get the fastest or least expensive rate for any given shipment.
Need help creating a shipping strategy for the holidays? Our team is always here to help. Contact us to learn more about our carrier integrations — and how to maximize your peak season.