USPS Announces Shipping Rate Price Increases
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced this week plans to increase shipping prices by an average of 3.6%, effective January 2, 2011. These rates must be reviewed and approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) before they can be implemented. The price increase will include the USPS’ competitive products (Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, and Priority Mail International).
The overall proposed increase for Express Mail is 4.6%. Retail prices will increase by 5%, with the Retail Flat Rate Envelopes remaining at $18.30. Commercial Base prices will also remain the same as current prices. Commercial Plus prices will actually decrease by 5%, and the threshold for qualifying for these rates will be reduced from a minimum of 6,000 Express Mail pieces to 5,000 pieces in the previous four quarters.
The overall price increase proposed for Priority Mail is 3.5%. New products, Regional Rate Box and Critical Mail, are being introduced. Other highlights:
- Retail prices will increase an average of 3.9 percent.
- Flat Rate Box prices will be: Small ($5.20), Medium ($10.95), Large ($14.95) and Large APO/FPO/DPO ($12.95)
- New Legal Size Flat Rate Envelope and Padded Flat Rate Envelope will be $4.95.
- Commercial Base will increase on average by 3.2 percent. • Commercial Plus will increase an average of 2.0 percent:
- The threshold for customers will be reduced from 100,000 to 75,000 Priority Mail parcel pieces (cumulative letters, flats, parcels) in the previous calendar year.
- The threshold for customers will be reduced from 100,000 to 5,000 Priority Mail letter-size and flat-size pieces in the previous calendar year. This includes all USPS-produced Priority Mail envelopes (letters and flats) and customer-supplied envelopes (letters and flats) with the exception of the Padded Flat Rate Envelope.
- Customers who ship more than 600 Priority Mail Open and Distribute containers annually will also qualify for Commercial Plus.
- New products:
- Regional Rate Box for Commercial Base and Commercial Plus Shippers. Two box sixes are available: Box A with a 15 pound limit and Box B with a 20 pound limit. Prices vary based on box size and zone
- Critical Mail is available to Commercial Plus customers. It provides flat rates for shipping in USPS provided packaging for letters and flats. This mail travels in the First-Class mailstream and First-Class delivery standards apply.
Prices for Parcel Select will increase on average by 4.4 percent. Increases are highest for non-destination entered parcels, where increases range from 7.6% to 9.8%. For destination entered parcels, the highest increase of 8% applies to parcels entered at the Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) level, with very modest increases (0.2% and 0.6% respectively) for parcels entered at Destination Sectional Center Facilities (DSCF) and Destination Network Distribution Centers (DNDC).
Parcel Return Service increases an average of 3.1%
Global Express Guaranteed increases by 3.7%, while Express Mail International increases by 3.1%.
Priority Mail International increases an average of 3.8%, with the introduction of several flat rate options, seven new country price groups, and elimination of discounts for users of Information Based Indicia devices.
International Priority Airmail increases by 3.3%, while International Surface Airlift (ISAL) increases by 6.4%.
Airmail M-bags increase in price by 5.8%.
There are also a number of classification changes in a number of categories. Shippers can access the official Postal Regulatory Commission filing for more details regarding the proposed changes and to access rate charts. The USPS has also posted downloadable files and Excel rate charts for both Domestic and International rates.