Yes, you heard it right and if you did not, let me tell you. We have another U.S. Postal Service® price change coming up but this time it really will be just prices – we think. The Postal Service announced yesterday that they are targeting April 17 to change some of the mailing prices.
We just went through a big or I may call it monumental price change. Thank you for your patience working through this with us. There were a lot of changes and prices were just one small part. I am sure most of you noticed the new IMpb (Intelligent Mail Package Barcode) which is now on all packages. It’s similar to the old delivery confirmation; however it contains more intelligence in the form of additional service parameters and that allows us to offer new postal products like Regional Rate Box™ service and features such as Hold for Pick Up.
You may have also noticed new Priority Mail® products called Regional Rate and Critical MailTM Letters and Flats (available to high volume Commercial Plus shippers). Talk about making sure the postal service continues to listen to its customers and provide value and special prices where applicable. DYMO Endicia was the first provider to support Regional and Critical Mail and the IMpb with postage.
The Regional Rates give shippers a great advantage in the 3-15 lb. category for Box A. You can essentially send a 15 lb. package for the 2 lb. price. For Box B, Regional Rate has the advantage in the 5-20 lb category. Compared to flat rate boxes, Box A is approximately the size of a Medium Flat Rate Box, but priced cheaper even if it’s going to zone 8. Box B is approximately the size of a Large Flat Rate Box and will save you money in packages going to all but zone 8. Basically, the Postal Service analyzed their cost structure and network and passed on certain discounts to its customers in the form of these new offerings.
Critical mail is another nice innovation which again takes advantage of the strength of the USPS network in First-Class Mail. It allows mailers of thin items, such as tickets, gift cards, official notices, documents, etc. to send letters and flats through the First-Class Mail system, but with Delivery Confirmation.
The Postal Service also introduced some new flat rate pieces such as the Priority Mail Flat Rate™ Padded Envelope, Flat Rate Gift Card Envelope and Flat Rate Small Envelope. One additional new piece, the Flat Rate Legal Size Envelope, offers more room for the same price as the standard Flat Rate Envelope. That’s a great value for shippers looking to take advantage of flat rates on larger items.
So, let’s get back to this April 17th price change. What can you expect? There the news is not so complex. It is focused on mailing services products or more specifically market dominant products. Overall the increase will be capped at 1.74% according to news reports. The 1 oz. first class stamp will remain at 44 cents but the additional ounce will go up to 20 cents. Postcard prices will go up 1 cent. Roughly speaking First-Class Letters are going up 0.5%, flats5.3%, parcels 3.8%, and international 4%. Standard Mail Parcels are going up 11.3%. These changes do NOT affect Priority or Express Mail.
On average these changes are still much lower than the private carriers’ recent increases. So once again we expect the postal service to continue to be quite competitive in its sweet spots. And with the introduction of some of the new categories, they are actually giving consumers an even better value.
Visit our dedicated page for more information on USPS shipping and to compare shipping rates.