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All Things Shipping | November 19, 2015

USPS 2016 Rate Changes: A Simple Guide


On January 17th, 2016, there will be a lot of changes happening to the USPS Postage rates and services, and we want to make sure that you’re well-informed about them.

In this first announcement, we’ve created a general guide to highlight some of the most important changes that will affect the majority of businesses, along with a few suggestions that you may want to start considering.

In Summary:
USPS will be implementing a price increase across the board, along with the discontinuation of some services.

1. For all service levels except for Priority Mail, Commercial Plus pricing has been eliminated – making Commercial Base pricing the only option.

2. For First Class shipments, there will be an average of 8% increase in price – but with few ounces dropping in price as well.

3. For Priority Mail shipments, there will be an average of 9.8% increase in price.

Take-away: Even with this substantial increase in price, for lightweight packages under 5 lbs, USPS remains your best option for 2016. However for heavier shipments, it may be worthwhile to consider adding other carriers in your roster, or varying your shipping methods within the USPS.

First Class – Commercial Base Price Only
Commercial Plus pricing has been eliminated for all USPS First Class packages, along with a Commercial Base price increase for most of the ounces. Although some postage providers may be taking a cut from the ounces that have dropped in price, as a Shippo customer, you are guaranteed the lowest First Class prices with us no matter what volume you’re shipping.

First Class CBP

Priority Mail – Commercial Plus Pricing
Commercial Plus pricing will remain with Priority Mail, an idea of what the price increases will look like is listed below.

It’s important to note that even with the price increases, USPS is still the best option for lightweight shipping under 5 lbs. We’ve also found it interesting that USPS has kept Priority Mail rates constant since 2013, whereas UPS and FedEx have raised their prices consistently over the years. Woot USPS!

Priority Mail CPP

Our chart above calls out the large increases between Zones 0-2, Zone 5, and 8 respectively. We wanted to highlight that distance across the country can matter more than you’d think.

For those who are not currently with Shippo, you may want to take a closer look at if the rate you’re getting is best for the volume you’re doing. As the gap between Commercial Base, and Commercial Plus pricing closes, it can be hard for providers to pass along their lowest rates due to thinning margins. But at Shippo, we always have your back when it comes to pricing.

For those heavier packages going long distances, you may want to consider multiple carriers.

Although USPS is still the best option for lightweight packages, it may be worthwhile to start looking at onboarding other carriers for those heavier, farther shipments. Shippo offers integration with 20 different carriers at the moment. Just add your new carrier account to your Shippo dashboard, and print labels all from within one place.

For more suggestions on how to optimize your shipping going forward, take a look at our 2016 shipping forecast. We will continue to update you of the changes going into 2016.

Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Shan Lian does Product Marketing at Shippo

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