Sellers who rely on USPS free packaging may have to adapt as the organization will reduce the dimensions of the packaging.
"Changing the dimensions will allow the boxes and envelopes to be processed on mail processing equipment more efficiently, increase visibility, and reduce the need for manual package sortation," according to today's announcement.
NOTE: the changes result in a maximum width of 12 inches and a maximum length of 15 inches. (There are no changes to existing heights.)
Included in the changes are the following packaging supplies popular with online sellers:
The Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box will be 1/4-inch smaller in width. Likewise for two sizes of the Priority Mail Box Weight and Zone.
Another Priority Mail Box Weight and Zone will see a 1/2-inch reduction in width and a 5/8-inch reduction in length.
The Priority Mail Regional Rate Box will see the biggest impact - a 2.5-inch reduction in width and a 1.25-inch reduction in length:
- Current dimensions: 3" (H) x 14-1/2" (W) x 16-1/4" (L)
- New dimensions: 3" (H) x 12" (W) x 15" (L)
Other standard Expedited Packaging Supplies will be impacted, such as the Priority Mail Express Tyvek Envelope.
The USPS said it produces and fulfills over 181 million of Standard and Specialized Expedited Packaging Supplies orders annually - that includes Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail and Global Express Guaranteed.
The USPS makes standard expedited packaging supplies available on the USPS.com/Postal Store, with some also available at local post offices.
The new dimensions will take effect in late September, but don't worry - it seems you can use up your current supplies, as will the Postal Service itself: "The USPS will continue to fulfill orders for the Expedited Packaging Supplies with the current dimensions while supplies last. Once supplies with the current dimensions have been depleted, orders for these items will be fulfilled with the new dimensions."
But if you have room to spare (in fitting your items into the packaging), you might want to start using the new supplies sooner rather than later since the message is, the new boxes will travel through the system faster. And for online sellers, speed of delivery is vital.
We received the announcement by email - let us know if this impacts you and how.
Update 9/23/2021: Seeing lots of questions in the comments below, but still not seeing the details on USPS website, so here's the table provided in yesterday's email from the Postal Service.