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E-commerce News and Insights | January 11, 2022

Understanding The USPS Rate Changes For 2022

With the new year underway, e-commerce merchants are now preparing their businesses for the new challenges to come in 2022 – and one of the first factors to consider is the USPS rate changes.

The annual price adjustments happen across all carriers annually. The difference this time around is that while USPS’ rate adjustments usually begin later in the month of January, this year’s rate adjustments began on January 9, 2022.

The entire 2022 USPS rate changes can be found at the Postal Regulatory Commission’s site, but some of the most relevant highlights for e-commerce merchants are outlined below.

While there are some price increases to take note of, there are also sizable price reductions, USPS discounts to take advantage of, and two new services online sellers can get excited about.

2022 USPS Priority Mail Rate Changes (Weight-Based)

One of the most popular shipping services e-commerce merchants use is USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. The average price increase for both services is set at 3.1 percent.

Below we look at the total amount difference between USPS Priority Mail rates from 2021 to 2022.

USPS Priority Mail Rate Difference 2021-2022
Weight Not Over Zone 0,1,2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
0.5 $ 0.21 $ 0.22 $ 0.23 $ 0.24 $ 0.25 $ 0.64 $ 0.88 $ 2.14
1 $ 0.21 $ 0.22 $ 0.23 $ 0.24 $ 0.25 $ 0.64 $ 0.88 $ 2.14
2 $ 0.23 $ 0.24 $ 0.25 $ 0.27 $ 0.52 $ 0.61 $ 0.97 $ 3.27
3 $ 0.24 $ 0.25 $ 0.26 $ 0.29 $ 0.64 $ 0.93 $ 1.29 $ 4.44
4 $ 0.24 $ 0.26 $ 0.28 $ 1.11 $ 0.74 $ 1.25 $ 1.81 $ 5.34
5 $ 0.25 $ 0.26 $ 0.29 $ 1.01 $ 0.16 $ 1.52 $ 2.05 $ 6.22

The differences are calculated based on discounted rates offered by Shippo. These rates have only increased on average 1.2 percent while retail rates for the same service have increased on average 4.5 percent.

But while most shipping rates for USPS Priority Mail have increased, there are some notable price reductions for shipments that fall between 10-25 pounds and are traveling through Zones 1-8. Below is a snapshot of those price adjustments.

USPS Priority Mail Rate Difference 2021-2022
Weight Not Over Zone 0,1,2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
15 $ (1.93) $ (3.62) $ (4.59) $ (7.33) $ (9.49) $ (6.16) $ (7.25) $ 14.20
16 $ (2.07) $ (4.18) $ (5.25) $ (8.07) $ (10.87) $ (7.46) $ (8.66) $ 14.98
17 $ (2.05) $ (4.48) $ (5.62) $ (8.59) $ (11.75) $ (8.24) $ (9.60) $ 15.77
18 $ (1.85) $ (4.51) $ (5.99) $ (9.04) $ (12.83) $ (9.04) $ (10.51) $ 16.56
19 $ (1.71) $ (4.40) $ (5.87) $ (8.91) $ (13.64) $ (9.79) $ (11.41) $ 17.35
20 $ (1.86) $ (4.14) $ (5.68) $ (8.52) $ (13.61) $ (10.13) $ (12.37) $ 18.15

There are potential surcharges to note later in 2022 for Priority Mail shipments. Beginning in April, packages that have a length between 22 and 30 inches will incur a $4.00 Surcharge. Packages longer than 30 inches will incur a $15.00 surcharge.

USPS Priority Mail Cubic Rate Changes In 2022

When it comes to USPS Priority Mail Cubic rates, the cost in 2022 really comes down to how far your shipment will travel. For most packages traveling from zones 1-4, you’ll see price reductions.

Cubic Ft. Range Up To Zone 0,1,2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
0.1 $ 0.22 $ 0.22 $ 0.24 $ 0.25 $ 0.31 $ 0.63 $ 0.91 $ 2.42
0.2 $ (0.12) $ (0.26) $ (0.22) $ 0.12 $ 1.28 $ 1.69 $ 2.36 $ 8.00
0.3 $ (0.52) $ (0.34) $ (0.27) $ 0.06 $ 1.69 $ 2.77 $ 4.68 $ 9.77
0.4 $ (0.56) $ (0.42) $ (0.09) $ 1.23 $ 2.34 $ 3.84 $ 4.58 $ 11.83
0.5 $ (0.58) $ (0.51) $ (0.18) $ 1.68 $ 1.77 $ 4.23 $ 5.16 $ 12.93

Zones 1-4 include any packages traveling up to 600 miles from their original destination. However, there are also some price increases to note for parcels traveling to Zone 8 (which could be as far as 1801 miles or more) or Zone 9 (which include U.S. territories such as Guam or Palau).

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Price Changes For 2022

When it comes to shipping rates for USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate, for the most part, they will increase slightly.

On the high end, the Medium Priority Mail Flat Rate box service price will go up to $0.50 cents from $13.75 to $14.25. On the lower end, the Large Priority Mail Flat Rate service will go down 10 cents from $19.30 to $19.20.

Priority Mail Flat Rate Price Difference 2021-2022
Flat Rate Envelopes (12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ or smaller) $ 0.35
Legal Flat Rate Envelope $ 0.35
Padded Flat Rate Envelope $ 0.45
Small Flat Rate Box $ 0.35
Medium Flat Rate Box $ 0.50
Large Flat Rate Box $ (0.10)
APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box $ (0.10)

One aspect of the Priority Mail service that hasn’t changed from 2021 to 2022 is that packaging supplies will remain free.

2022 USPS First-Class Package Service Rate Adjustments

USPS First-Class Package Service rates will increase slightly across the board. Commercial rates for this service will go up an average of 7.4 percent. This service is for packages that weigh between one to 15.99 ounces.

Weight Not Over (ounces) 1 & 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9
1 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.37 $ 0.37 $ 0.37
2 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.37 $ 0.37 $ 0.37
3 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.37 $ 0.37 $ 0.37
4 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.36 $ 0.37 $ 0.37 $ 0.37
5 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30 $ 0.30

As the chart suggests, the lowest amount is an increase of 30 cents while the top end of the price change is a 37 cent increase.

Packages 5-15.99 ounces will see an increase of 30 cents no matter the zone they are traveling to.

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box Price Changes

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes are a great way for you to get the convenience and speed of Priority Mail but with zone-based pricing, meaning you may be able to get reduced shipping rates.

The differences between the two types of boxes come in their size dimensions and total weight they can carry. For Box A, you can ship a maximum of 15 lbs domestically and up to 10 lbs internationally. For Box B, that maximum is 20 lbs for both domestic and international shipments.

Regional Rate Boxes
Zone
Box Local 1 & 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
$ 0.73 $ 0.73 $ 0.76 $ 0.79 $ 1.55 $ 1.77 $ 2.34 $ 10.73
B⁴ $ 0.83 $ 0.87 $ 0.72 $ 1.82 $ 0.46 $ 1.12 $ 1.48 $ 14.29

Going into 2022, this service will be seeing price increases across the board for Commercial Plus customers.

However, despite the increases, USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate still serves as a potentially lower-cost alternative for e-commerce merchants, especially for shipments traveling between Zone 1 to Zone 4.

Two New USPS Services For Small Businesses Announced

Along with these 2022 USPS price changes, USPS has announced two additional services in the works to help small businesses and local communities expand their reach.

The first of these services is the Plus One product. This will give businesses additional marketing options to reach local customers through the mail.

The other service will be known as the USPS Connect Local Mail product. This builds upon the USPS Connect Pilot and will allow you to send documents within your local community the same or next day.

What The New USPS Shipping Rates Mean For Your E-commerce Business

The 2022 USPS shipping rate changes will impact every shipper. This is especially the case for e-commerce merchants who rely on the carrier to deliver their products around the country.

While e-commerce merchants’ bottom dollar will likely be affected by the shipping rate changes happening across the industry, the impact doesn’t have to be negative.

For example, USPS has lowered rates for certain shipping services, making them a more ideal option when your packages fit the criteria. So while you may see an increased cost in some of your shipments, you may also see decreased costs for others, possibly balancing them out.

The need to be able to compare shipping rates for each of your deliveries will become more necessary than ever before as the carrier with the lowest cost for each delivery will likely depend on the size, weight, and destination of the parcel.

Benefits of Shipping With USPS In 2022

While there are some changes this year in regards to pricing, there are some free USPS services that are here to stay. Some examples include:

  • Free Saturday delivery
  • Free Priority Mail packaging supplies
  • Free Pick-up (Line of travel, next day)

Some other helpful aspects of USPS that are here to stay are the fact that USPS does not add on fuel charges, address standardization is included in Shippo, and forwarding for certain products is free.

How To Get The Lowest Rates On USPS Shipping Labels

One other aspect of shipping with USPS that will stay the same in 2022 is the ability to get lower rates on USPS shipping labels with Shippo.

  • First-Class Package Service: This service is best for packages that weigh under a pound. With Shippo, you can find shipping rates up to 27% off this service.
  • Priority Mail (weight-based): This service is ideal for any shipments above 1 pound and can fit into a package the size of a shoebox. Similarly, you can find 27% off this service.
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate: This service is best for packages that want to be priced by distance instead of weight. Discounts of up to 13.41% can be found here depending on the flat rate package you use.
  • Priority Mail Cubic: This is where some of the biggest discounts can be found. It is ideal for packages weighing between 1-20 pounds. Discounts can be as large as 90% for this service.

Sign up for free today to get discounted shipping labels for USPS shipments and to start comparing rates among the nation’s top carriers.

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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