E-commerce News and Insights
Mar 22, 2022

Understanding the New USPS Fees And Surcharges

As your e-commerce business springs forward with the season, it’s important not to overlook the USPS NonStandard and Dimensional Non-Compliance fees introduced in April 2022.

While these fees came in just days after April Fools Day, the surcharges are no laughing matter and could significantly impact your shipping costs. These fees are added to the cost of postage and can be combined if you go outside the parameters of multiple rules.

We’ll explain how these new fees affect those who ship with USPS through Shippo and in general, but if you’d like to read more on what exactly the PRC approved in terms of new USPS costs, visit here.

USPS Dimensional Noncompliance Fee

Of the new USPS shipping fees, the Dimensional Noncompliance fee is a bit easier to understand.

A fee of $1.50 will be applied to any packages when the captured dimensions (length, width, height) have a length greater than 22 inches or volume greater than one cubic foot and when manifested dimensions are not provided.  If incorrect dimensions are provided a Noncompliant Fee fo $0.25 per piece will be charged.

The length is the longest side of the box and should be provided out to two decimal places.   Be accurate since the rounding does not apply to Nonstandard Fee for package length.

Then rounding rules apply when calculating package volume. The package dimensions (length, width, and height) should be rounded off to the next whole number, then multiplied to calculate the package cubic volume. If the calculated package cubic volume exceeds 3,456 inches, the Nonstandard Fee for exceeding 2 cubic feet volume applies

To avoid this fee you’ll want to live by the philosophy of “measure twice, ship once”. Just be sure you’re measuring the exterior of the box your product is going to be shipped in since that is what USPS will be measuring.

USPS Non Standard Fee

The USPS Non Standard Fee has a few more layers to unpack. Essentially, packages that exceed a certain dimensional threshold will incur an additional fee in addition to the postage. These fees are set to be placed on shipments using USPS Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Parcel Select.

Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail fees

  • Parcels that are longer than 22 inches but less than 30 inches will see a $4.00 surcharge.
  • Parcels that exceed 30 inches in length will incur a $15.00 surcharge.
  • Parcels that measure greater than 2 cubic (3456 cubic inches) feet will also see a $25.00 fee added.

Parcel Select fees

  • Parcels that are longer than 22 inches but less than 30 inches will see a $4.00 surcharge.
  • Parcels that exceed 30 inches in length will incur a $7.00 surcharge.
  • Parcels that measure greater than 2 cubic (3456 cubic inches) feet will also see a $15.00 fee added.

Note:  The non Standard fee does not apply to First-Class Package Service – Commercial rates, because the package can not exceed 22 inches in length, or 18 inches in width, or 15 inches in thickness.

Shipments using Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging, Priority Cubic Tiered product or Priority Mail Regional Rate packages won’t have to worry about these surcharges. For those Flat Rate USPS provided packages, you simply have to remember “If it fits, it ships for a low flat rate.” Just don’t overstuff the boxes to the point you put your product in danger.  For the Cubic Rate, you will need to provide accurate rates rounded to ¼”.

What’s also important to understand is that your package could incur multiple non standard fees at the same time.

Say, for example, you’re sending out a Priority Mail shipment that measures at 25” long, 12” high, and 12” wide. You’d see a $4.00 surcharge for your package being longer than 22” plus you’d see another $15.00 for your package measuring greater than 2 cubic feet. You’d then be paying $19.00 on top of the cost of postage.

In a separate example, let’s say your package was 35” long, 10” high, and 10” wide. You’d pay $15 for your package being longer than 30 inches, plus another $15 for being greater than 2 cubic feet. Let’s also say you didn’t measure it correctly or didn’t measure it at all. That could result in a $31.50 fee to go along with the cost of postage.

Why New USPS Fees Are Being Added

The USPS is implementing these added costs for a couple of different reasons.

In terms of the Dimensional Noncompliance fee, the added time it takes to correct or add correct measurements to a package affects the efficiency of the USPS’s supply chain. Providing correct dimensions allows USPS to properly plan and assign transportation for those items within their operation.

Similarly, when it comes to the Non Standard Fee, the USPS utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to sort and process packages. When packages fall outside the capacity of that equipment, those items have to be processed through a semi-manual process which adds cost into the process. In addition, in order to create efficiencies, USPS tries to maximize the logistical process by maximizing transportation assigned to packages in the system, whether that is ground transportation or air.

How The New USPS Fees Affect Your E-commerce Business

The new USPS Nonstandard fees will affect e-commerce businesses differently as it will all depend on what size products you usually ship. However, the Dimensional Noncompliance fee will be the same for online stores across the board.

The USPS is cracking down on merchants who put the incorrect measurements for their packages. They’re also cracking down on parcels that slow down or limit their ability to ship as many parcels as possible.

You and/or your fulfillment team will need to be aware of these surcharges and do your best to comply with them in order to avoid any USPS surcharges. Some additional options you can take are

With these USPS fees, the need to compare different shipping rates from multiple carriers all in one place is paramount to keeping shipping costs as low as possible. With Shippo you can do just that. You can even calculate USPS shipping costs before creating postage.

You’ll also be able to find deep discounts with the nation’s top carriers such as USPS and UPS as well as compare rates with regional carriers and international carriers. Shippo users can find up to 89% off USPS Priority Mail Cubic shipping.

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Hasan Nabulsi
is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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