Sellers will not face nonstandard fees for using older flat-rate USPS Priority Mail boxes, a spokesperson told EcommerceBytes.
After the US Postal Service announced new “nonstandard” fees going into effect in January, sellers had questions about whether it would impact their use of older flat-rate Priority Mail boxes that the USPS provides to shippers at no charge. A USPS spokesperson told EcommerceBytes it would not.
The USPS announced the new nonstandard fees as part of its rate hike for USPS Shipping services taking effect on January 9, 2022:
“A new series of nonstandard fees, applicable to certain competitive products, will be assessed on packages that cause the Postal Service to incur manual handling costs when the dimensions of the package exceed sortation requirements.”
A reader asked, “Does this mean that USPS Priority boxes that are larger than the new boxes that USPS has changed to will incur an additional charge because of “Exceeded Sortation Size”?”
The reader was referring to the recent decision to slightly reduce the size of the USPS Priority Mail boxes in part to “reduce the need for manual package sortation” – but allow sellers to continue using the older USPS Priority Mail boxes.
USPS spokesperson David P. Coleman responded to EcommerceBytes’ inquiry about the new nonstandard fees, and said, “All flat rate packaging (regardless of length) is exempt from the fees.”
Coleman confirmed that the nonstandard fees going into effect in January would apply only packages that are longer than 22 inches. On the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) website, the fees are outlined on the 29th page of the PDF file. Specifically, it states the following new fees for packages exceeding 22 inches:
- Length greater than 22 inches: $4
- Length greater than 30 inches: $15
- Cube greater than 2 cubic feet: $15
Coleman said the amount if the surcharge fees were different for packages entered at destination facilities, but that the list was comprehensive all of the fees.
The bottom line is that merchants who are used to numerous types of surcharges from other shipping carriers should remain vigilant no matter which carrier they select – including the USPS.
Update 12/6/2021: The USPS will go forward with its regular Shipping rate hike on January 9th, but it will delay the $1.50 Dimension Noncompliance Fee and the $4 and $15 Nonstandard Fees until April, see more in this December 5th AuctionBytes Blog post.