This is the sound of the other shoe dropping, and it's not a pleasant sound for online sellers who rely on the Post Office to deliver their packages. The US Postal Service is raising rates in January for Shipping services, including Priority Mail.
Here's by how much (an approximate average) rates are rising for some popular services:
Priority Mail service: 3.5%
Priority Mail Express service: 1.2%
First-Class Package Service (FCPS) Commercial: 6.5%
First-Class Package Service (FCPS) Retail: 4.8%
USPS filed the proposals with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today, November 16, and we have no reason to think the PRC won't approve the 2021 rate increase as it did for the 2021 Mail services increase.
One of the first things that greets readers when reviewing the filing is the following:
"For Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, USPS Retail Ground, and First-Class Package Service customers, a $100 fee will be assessed on parcels found in the mailstream that exceed the maximum mailable size limit (combined length and girth greater than 130 inches)."
That's a surcharge sellers will have to pay close attention to when mailing packages come mid-January. We've yet to dig deeper to see if there are other surprises.
The USPS provided the following list of current and planned prices for certain services in Monday's announcement:
Priority Mail small flat-rate box: $8.30 (current), $8.45 (planned)
Priority Mail medium flat-rate box: $15.05 (current), $15.50 (planned)
Priority Mail large flat-rate box: $21.10 (current), $21.90 (proposed)
Army/Air Post Office and Fleet Post Office large flat-rate box: $19.60 (current), $20.40 (planned)
Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope: $7.75 (current), $7.95 (planned)
Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope: $8.05 (current), $8.25 (planned)
Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope: $8.40 (current), $8.55 (planned)
Overall, these changes would raise prices approximately 3.5 percent for Priority Mail service and 1.2 percent for Priority Mail Express service.
What has been new this year for sellers is the USPS holiday rate increase that went into effect on October 18 and runs through December 27, 2020. An informal survey of EcommerceBytes reader had revealed that small online sellers believed holiday shoppers would bear the brunt of USPS surge pricing, though even those who pass along the higher rates will still see higher costs.