The USPS filed their mailing and shipping rate changes on October 10, 2018, to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). These changes—affecting everything from First-Class Mail® to Priority Mail®— were approved by the PRC and are scheduled to take effect on January 27, 2019. Here are the most popular mailing and shipping products and how they will be affected under the rate changes.
First Class Mail: Meter That Mail!
The USPS will impose a 5 cent increase to the 1 oz. Forever Stamp, increasing 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!
Proposed Mailing Service Price Changes
|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|
Save on Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® with Commercial Rates
According to the USPS, they will increase retail rates an average of 5.9 percent on Priority Mail and an average of 3.9 percent on Priority Mail Express. Retail rates are the prices you pay when you ship from the Post Office. The alternative is Commercial Based Pricing (CBP), which are discounted rates given to those that use a shipping system, like NeoShip. For example, the retail rates for one of the most popular products, the Padded Flat Rate Envelope, will increase from $7.25 to $8.00. However, if you get Commercial Based Pricing using a shipping system, the rate for a Padded Flat Rate Envelope still increases but to a lesser extent, going from $7.05 to only $7.50, still providing a significant savings.
Proposed Priority Mail Retail Price Changes
|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 charged based off of both weight and zone. In an effort to standardize all their package services, First Class Package Service—which currently only uses package weight to determine its cost—will also be priced based off of weight and zone. Zone 1 is the closest to the shipper and Zone 8/9 will be the furthest and the most expensive.
Currently, a 7 ounce package costs $3.05 no matter where it is going. Looking at the new rates for 2019, that 7 ounce package will cost $3.18 for Zones 1 and 2 and up to $3.63 for Zone 9. When First Class Package Service becomes zone-based, it will be easier to compare it to other USPS services as well as major carrier services, making it an apples to apples price comparison.
Change Is Coming
In conclusion, the USPS is raising its mailing and shipping rates but you can leverage your mailing system for discounted metered mail rates and look into a shipping system to get Commercial Based Pricing. In fact, you're incentivized to do just that! Remember, the USPS still has an edge over other carriers because it does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.
The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found here. Keep an eye out for developments. To receive alerts on all postal rate changes subscribe to our monthly newsletter NeoNews.
Need help getting the updated rates on your postage meter? Visit the Support Page.
For more information, read the Rate Change FAQs.