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USPS ‘Frankensteins’ First Class Package and Ground

USPS Frankensteins First Class Package and Ground

The USPS will eliminate Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground services, which offer very low rates for large or heavy packages (up to 70 pounds). And it will reinvent First Class Package Service, which is currently limited to lightweight packages (up to 15.999 ounces), to consolidate the three services into one.

The two disappearing Ground services are alternatives to costlier Priority Mail.

According to Wednesday’s announcement, “USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground will be incorporated into one enhanced FCPS product” – the USPS is looking to roll out the changes on January 8, 2023.

The Postal Service submitted filings to the Postal Regulatory Commission on July 13, but blithely omitted such key information as pricing, knowing the PRC has largely an advisory role in rate setting.

“The pricing for the newly expanded First-Class Package Service product will be dealt with in a subsequent Governors’ Decision and Commission filing, and the Postal Service fully expects that First-Class Package Service will continue to meet the standards of 39 U.S.C. § 3633,” the USPS wrote in its filing for changes in classifications for competitive products available on the PRC website (Docket No. MC2022–82).

The USPS Board of Governors said it intends to maintain the Retail and Commercial price categories within First-Class Package Service – notice it used the word categories, not prices.

The USPS has shown no compunction about raising rates. In fact, the USPS raised FCPS rates an average of 7.6% in January while slowing FCPS service in May.

Strangely, just months ago, the USPS filed its intention to speed Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground service standards. Just months later on June 22, the USPS Board of Governors formally decided to eliminate those offerings to merge them into FCPS.

The USPS is rapidly changing offerings available to mailers and shippers. And in a move right out of Corporate America’s playbook, the Governors cited “simplification” as the benefit to shippers when in fact online postage services automate the process of finding the cheapest method of shipping an item.

The USPS Board of Governors wrote, “The classification changes established herein are designed to simplify and streamline the Postal Service’s ground competitive package offerings under one product.” And the USPS press release announcing the news on Wednesday was titled, “USPS Simplifies Package Shipping Options.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

11 thoughts on “USPS ‘Frankensteins’ First Class Package and Ground”

  1. USPS is about to shoot themselves in the foot, since chances are good they’re about to lose Parcel Select shipping to UPS.

  2. Honestly, unless its real heavy, priority has been cheaper or only a few cents more the parcel post and insured(even though its not worth anything). They shouldn’t raise any prices since our taxes just bail them out and change their medical retirement plan.

      1. Excuse me “The Postal Service Reform Act” removed $57 billion in past-due postal liabilities owed by USPS, not a bail out but forgiveness, still paid by tax payers

  3. so, tell me again why (no)de Joy is still operating two competing businesses?

    did we forget about him tearing out automated processing machines right before an election, where mail-in ballots were a (real or imagined) issue?

  4. First of let me just add this THE USPS DOESN’T run on any of your taxes!!!!! I have to agree as to why D’joy is still even in operation with USPS!!! Lastly I hope they do raise their prices. Ppl are staying home and ordering a lot more. This would help off set expense. Too many ppl out there reusing stamps and yet they complain .

    1. While they claim to be self sufficient, USPS still uses plenty of taxpayer paid government services. All of their locations are controlled by the GSA, rents are paid by the GSA, leases are signed by the GSA, new locations are researched by the GSA. Their healthcare and retirement are federal accounts, controlled and run by the Dept of the Treasury.

  5. Very smart to do this by making it easier for customer to choose as well as adding up to $100 insurance on the 1st class package.

  6. Also for some of you commenting Dejoy Dejoy Dejoy!!! You should learn how the Postal Service operates and that the BOARD OF GOVERNORS approves the changes and then are submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission for approval!!!!!!

  7. Sure raise prices, higher prices means less business, I know I sell less then half of the items I sold 4 yrs ago. They priced themself out of large packages and long packages.I know I’ve said “Dejoy’ needs to go but so does the board of governors, approving every rate hike increase without seeing how much it hurts small business. Its us small sellers that have kept them going since letter mail has died off, before I started my internet business, I spent maybe $2 a month on stamps, I replaced that with $800-$1400 a month in small package sales.

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