5 New Rules & Moves to Reduce 2016 Impact

USPS updates domestic Priority Mail rates for the first time in 3 years on January 17

While the United States Postal Service has not raised domestic Priority Mail rates since 2013, USPS remains a highly competitive player for B2C eCommerce transactions. Even though rates are increasing over 10% on average, there are strategies that will help mitigate cost increases.

1. While most First Class services increase in price, heavier weight shipments decrease in price and become available

Rather than having a different price per ounce for shipments 1-8 oz, USPS made all weights the same price of $2.60 representing a potential $0.56 increase for Commercial Base users. The major news is Commercial Base becoming available for 14-16 oz shipments, thus giving an incredible value for light shipments. While USPS.com still does not allow First Class shipment processing, there are a variety of software options that come with First Class processing ability

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2. All Priority Flat Rate Services are increasing in price

The Large and Medium Flat Rate Boxes are increasing in price by $1.05 and $0.95 respectively, still maintaining themselves as one of the best options for 3+ pound shipments going to Zones 5-8. Small Flat Rate Boxes at $5.90 catch up to the Padded Envelope in price, which will still remain king due to the versatility of items it can fit. If currently on Commercial Base pricing, switching to Commercial Plus in 2016 will only increase costs slightly. If already on Commercial Plus pricing, now is the time to better explore Regional Box A & B pricing.

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3. Regional Box C, along with a few other services, have been discontinued

While Regional Box C carried a maximum weight of 25 pounds, Regional Box B will now be the largest size available with a maximum weight of only 20 pounds. Since Regional Boxes A & B only increased slightly in price, the less heard of Regional Box program may draw added interest from shippers, as its prices are more attractive than Flat Rate Boxes for lower zone shipments. Like Flat Rate Boxes, Regional boxes are also completely free and orderable off the USPS website. Other USPS services that have been discontinued include:

  • Priority Mail Express discontinued Commercial Plus Pricing and will use standard Commercial Pricing for all three envelope types – this increase of $2.55 brings each total to $20.66
  • Priority Mail Express discontinued the Flat Rate Box service
  • Critical Mail has been discontinued, as it is not a service that many customers use

4. Domestic Priority Mail increases in price by 9.8%

Although the increase is drastic, USPS is still the best option for Business to Consumer shipments, 1-3 lbs Zones 1-8 & 1-20 lbs Zones 1-4. Even a 10% increase in pricing over 3 years is only a 3.33% average per year as compared to UPS/FedEx’s annual increase of just over 6%. It becomes even more clear as Regional, Flat Rate and Priority shipments inch closer in price, that rate shopping software is the only effective way to mitigate cost increases. With so many simultaneous carrier, cost and transit time calculations going on, no brain, no matter how smart, can prevent needless overspending.   

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5. USPS.com moves from Commercial Base to Retail Pricing

Click-N-Ship will no longer provide customers access to Commercial Base Pricing as it moves to higher priced Retail rates. Moving from 2015 Commercial Base to 2016 Retail prices might shock a few who are used to printing labels from USPS.com. Move Method allows organizations to take advantage of discounted USPS Pricing  through the best fit software package for your company’s size and operations.

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