Welcome to the USPS Rates Resource Hub
Once a year, the USPS files its mailing and shipping rate changes to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). These changes can affect everything from the price of a stamp to Certified Mail and USPS package services. Our hub outlines all of the changes by comparing the new postage rates to the previous year.
Update for June 23, 2019 Rate Change
The USPS® has a second rate change this year that goes into effect on June 23, 2019. The USPS will start using dimensional weight to determine the price of packages for Priority Mail®, Priority Mail Express® and Parcel Select, and they are changing the way they calculate dimensional weight. We break down these dimensional weight changes, so you know what it means for your business.
What Is Dimensional (DIM) Weight?
Dimensional weight is used by all the major carriers—UPS, FedEx and now USPS—to calculate the shipping cost of larger packages with lower weights, aka light packages that take up a lot of valuable space in a delivery truck or airplane. If the calculated dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight you will be required to pay the higher amount.
Starting June 23, dimensional weight pricing will apply to packages sent via Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select Ground.
How Is Dimensional Weight Calculated?
If you do decide to calculate dimensional weight manually, follow these steps:
- Multiply the length, width, and height of your parcel to determine if it is over 1 cubic foot or 1,728 cubic inches.
- If your package is less than 1,728 cubic inches you do not need to enter in the dimensional weight. Your package will be priced off of the actual weight.
- If your package is greater than 1,728 cubic inches, you will divide the cubic inches by 166 to calculate the weight of your package.
What Are Some Examples of How to Measure Dimensional Weight?
Example 1: You are shipping sneakers that weight 7lbs. in a box that measures 12" x 12" x 8". Multiply the length x width x height of the package: 12" x 12" x 8"= 1,056 cubic inches. You will calculate the price using the actual weight of 7 lbs. because your package is under 1 cubic foot or 1,728 cubic inches.
Example 2: You are shipping a book that weighs 5 lbs. in a box that measures 12" x 12" x 14". You multiply the length x width x height of the package. 12" x 12" x 14" = 2,016 cubic inches. The dimensions are over 1 cubic foot or 1,728 cubic inches, so you will then divide the dimensions by the USPS divisor which is 166. 2,016 cubic inches / 166 = 12.14 lbs. rounded up to 13 lbs. This is the weight you will enter into the machine.
As you can see from the example above you may end up paying more if you are shipping something lightweight in large packaging. This difference in weight can really add up! To reduce being charged for dimensional weight:
- Use the smallest packaging possible
- Use Flat Rate boxes and envelopes
- Use padded envelopes for flexible items like shipping clothing
How is dimensional weight entered into a postage meter?
If you have NeoShip online shipping software the dimensional weight will be calculated automatically. If you have a Neopost postage meter you will need to enter the dimensional weight that you calculated manually by selecting manual weight mode. Model-specific instructions on entering manual weight can be found on the Neopost Knowledgebase.
January 2019 Postage Rates Overview
This past January, the USPS imposed a 5-cent increase to the 1 oz. Forever Stamp, bring the cost up to 55 cents—the highest price jump since 1991. Time for the good news: postage meter customers pay a discounted rate of 50 cents for each 1 oz. First-Class single mail piece. That is a savings of 5 cents over the retail rate, which can really add up. For example, the average small business mails 5,000 mail pieces a year. With the discounted meter rate they will save 9 percent, adding up to $250 in annual savings!
|First-Class Letters (stamped 1 oz.)||$0.50||$0.55|
|First-Class Letters (metered 1 oz.)||$0.47||$0.50|
|First-Class Letters additional ounces||$0.21 each ounce||$0.15 each ounce|
|Outbound International Letters||$1.15||$1.15|
Savings on Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® with Commercial Rates
Retail rates, the prices you pay when you ship from the Post Office, increased an average of 5.9 percent on Priority Mail and an average of 3.9 percent on Priority Mail Express. The alternative to paying retail rates is Commercial Based Pricing (CBP), which are discounted rates given to businesses that use a shipping system, like NeoShip. The difference in pricing is significant! The retail rate for one of the most popular USPS products, the Padded Flat Rate Envelope, increased from $7.25 to $8.00. Using a shipping system, the cost of a Padded Flat Rate Envelope only increases to $7.50, providing significant savings.
|Small Flat Rate Box||$7.20||$7.90|
|Medium Flat Rate Box||$13.65||$14.35|
|Large Flat Rate Box||$18.90||$19.95|
|APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box||$17.40||$18.45|
|Regular Flat Rate Envelope||$6.70||$7.35|
|Legal Flat Rate Envelope||$7.00||$7.56|
|Padded Flat Rate Envelope||$7.25||$8.00|
First-Class Package Service Gets Zone-Based
Major USPS package services such as Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select are now charged based on both weight and zone, like other major carriers. Zone 1 is the closest to the shipper. Zone 8/9 is the furthest and most expensive. Previously, a 7-ounce package cost $3.05 to send, no matter the destination. With the new rates for 2019, that 7-ounce package costs $3.18 for Zones 1 and 2 and up to $3.63 for Zone 9. First Class Package Service is now a lot easier to compare with other USPS services and major carrier services to identify the most cost-effective shipping method.
Solutions to Simplify USPS Rate Changes
Rates may have gone up, but it's a definite win for postage meter users. No matter what mailing system you choose, you'll get access to discounted metered mail rates. Realize even more savings using a shipping system to access Commercial Based Pricing. Remember, the USPS still has an edge over other carriers. It doesn't add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.
For More On the Current Postage Rate
Find complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all mailing and shipping products on the USPS website. To receive alerts on all postal rate changes subscribe to NeoNews, our monthly newsletter, and get updates right in your inbox.
Need help getting the updated rates on your postage meter? Visit the Support Page.
For answers to the most common USPS Rates questions, read our Rate Change FAQs.