|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3196 - November 14, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065 1 of 3|
Like death and taxes, annual rate hikes from shipping carriers are a certainty - the only positive thing about them is that they occur after the holiday shopping season. This week, the other shoe dropped from the US Postal Service as it announced rate hikes for Priority Mail and other shipping services.
In September, the USPS asked for permission to raise market dominant prices above the limit allowed it (called an exigent request) as part of an emergency measure which it called necessary unless it received relief from Congress. On Wednesday, the Postal Service submitted rates for competitive products, which has no such limitation.
In a press release, the USPS said when new Postal Service Shipping Services prices take effect in January, customers would see an overall price increase of 2.4 percent. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective on Jan. 26, 2014.
Priority Mail is much used by smaller online sellers, so we take a look at those changes first. Remember that in August, the USPS rebranded "Express Mail" to "Priority Mail Express."
Domestic Priority Mail
The USPS did not indicate in its Wednesday filing the average percent rate increase for Priority Mail, including non-flat rate prices, and it will take the online sellers and the experts some time to wade through the rates to determine the impact. To see the new rates yourself, visit this PDF-formatted page on the PRC.gov website.
Priority Mail Express (formerly called Express Mail)
Additionally, a 10:30 am delivery time option will be added for Priority Mail Express for $5.00.
Among the other noteworthy changes:
Exigent Rate Request
The USPS also made news this week when Amazon announced the USPS would soon start delivering its packages on Sundays.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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