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USPS Proposes New Postage Rates For 2022

USPS has filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to adjust prices effective on January 9, 2022. In addition to the proposed base price changes, USPS is also requesting the following changes and new fees:

  • USPS Connect Local – New Same Day or Next Day delivery to local addresses served by the local Post Office to every address served by that delivery unit. This service, which is being tested in Texas already, is to be expanded throughout 2022. USPS also plans to test another version called USPS Connect Local Mail which includes only flat pieces under 13oz for $2.95. The Postal Service was still very vague about this new service in its PRC filing, so we expect more details to come out as they evaluate the tests.
  • USPS Retail Ground – USPS plans to no longer default prices for zones 1-4 into Priority Mail and instead proposed a new price structure that should be more competitive.
  • Fee For Missing or Incorrect Dimensions – USPS proposes a new $1.50 fee on Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Parcel Select services that are greater than one cubic foot or with a length longer than 22″ if the shipper did not provide dimensions or if the dimensions are incorrect in the electronic manifest file.
  • New Series of Nonstandard Fees  – USPS proposes new fees that would apply to Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select, First Class Package Service, and USPS Retail Ground for manual sorting when the dimensions of the package exceed sortation requirements. New fees are:
    • Package Length over 22″ – $4.00
    • Package Length over 30″ – $15.00
    • Package over 2 cu. ft. – $15.00

Below are the proposed price change averages that are relevant to most small business shippers in 2022. Retail pricing is included as some micro shippers may not use online services to purchase postage, but instead, go to their local Post Office.

Commercial Base and Commercial Plus are two USPS commercial discount levels that are often offered through shipping platforms, online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, and eCommerce platforms with shipping integrations.

For many popular services like standard Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services, Commercial Base and Commercial Plus offer the same discount. USPS introduced this practice a few years ago and said it will continue to do so in 2022.

Commercial Plus pricing still applies to select USPS services such as Cubic and PMOD (Priority Mail Open & Distribute) which are reserved for high-volume shippers. Some shipping platforms offer Cubic pricing to eligible customers.

Important Note: All proposed price adjustments are based on January 2021 base prices, not the current peak season prices in effect until December 26. Many peak prices are higher than the proposed 2022 base prices.

Priority Mail Express (Avg 3.1%)

  • Retail (2.9%)
  • Commercial Base (4.3%)
  • Commercial Plus (4.3%)

Priority Mail Express (Avg 3.1%)

  • Retail (4.5%)
  • Commercial Base (2.7%)
  • Commercial Plus (1.2%)

First Class Package Service (Avg 7.6%)

  • Retail (8.4%)
  • Commercial (7.4%)

Additional Price Adjustments:

  • Parcel Select (5.5%)
  • Retail Ground (-7.4%)
  • Global Express Guaranteed (2.3%)
  • Priority Mail Express International (3.2%)
  • Priority Mail International (3.7%)
  • International Priority Airmail (4.9%)
  • First-Class Package International Service (4.2%)

Other Fees Adjustments:

  • Adult signature increases from $6.90 to $8.50
  • Adult signature restricted delivery from $7.15 to $8.75

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Changes

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate packages are a popular service for many shippers as they make it simple to mail orders without having to worry about weight.

Flat Rate envelopes and boxes are available for free from local Post Offices or through the USPS Postal Store. The service is available for domestic and international Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services.

For simplicity, we provided tables of the proposed price changes for Domestic Priority Mail only divided between Retail and Commercial pricing. As previously mentioned, Commercial Base and Commercial Plus pricing are the same discounted price for these services again in 2022.

USPS is also proposing new prices for Flat Rate Priority Mail Express, Flat Rate Priority Mail International, and Flat Rate Priority Mail Express International (see filing document below for more information).

(FR = Flat Rate)

USPS Priority Mail (Retail)20212022Difference
Standard FR Envelope$7.95$8.95$1.00
Legal Size FR Envelope$8.25$9.25$1.00
FR Padded Envelope$8.55$9.65$1.00
Small FR Box$8.45$9.45$1.00
Medium FR Box$15.50$16.10$0.60
General Large FB Box$21.90$21.50-$0.40
APO/FPO Large FB Box$20.40$20.00-$0.40
Regional FR Box A*$10.13$10.60$0.47
Regional FR Box B*$10.53$11.15$0.62
USPS Priority Mail (Commercial)20212022Difference
Standard FR Envelope$7.40$7.75$0.35
Legal Size FR Envelope$7.70$8.05$0.35
FR Padded Envelope$8.00$8.45$0.45
Small FR Box$7.90$8.25$0.35
Medium FR Box$13.75$14.25$0.50
General Large FB Box$19.30$19.20-$0.10
APO/FPO Large FB Box$17.80$17.70-$0.10
Regional FR Box A$7.83$8.38$0.55
Regional FR Box B$8.23$8.88$0.65

In Conclusion

Most of the price changes requested by USPS to the PRC appear to be within similar scope to competitive price adjustments already announced by UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

The percentage price adjustments mentioned are averages, not an across-the-board price increase on every base rate for 2021. This means pricing for some packages may go up more than the average, while others may even see decreases in 2021. It seems to really vary significantly based on zone and weight.

To better understand how these proposed price adjustments would impact your shipping costs in 2022, we suggest reviewing the entire PRC filing by the US Postal Service.

Again, none of these price changes are approved yet but the proposed effective date is Sunday, January 9, 2022, and we expect an official announcement in December with the final details.

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