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E-commerce News and Insights | September 10, 2021

2021 USPS Peak Season Prices Update: What You Need To Know

It’s September, which means Americans are breaking out the fall decorations a little too early and are making pumpkin spice lattes when it’s still 90 degrees out. But for e-commerce business owners, it’s never too early to start considering the USPS peak season prices increase for the holiday season.

This is especially true for 2021, as the USPS has already announced its proposed price increases. The postal service has officially gained final approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to establish these rate adjustments. 

The temporary price increases are similar to the 2020 peak season in that they only impact USPS package products. However there are some key differences for e-commerce merchants to be aware of. 

How Long Will USPS Holiday Peak Season Pricing Last?

The proposed timeline for the USPS holiday peak season pricing will last from October 3, 2021, 12:00 a.m. CT until December 26, 2021, 12:00 a.m. CT. This timeline is two weeks longer than the peak season price increase that occurred in 2020. 

USPS Price Changes For Holiday Peak Season

E-commerce merchants can expect USPS peak season prices to jump anywhere between $0.25 to $5.00 depending on the location and weight of their product. The rate changes are made by the USPS to accommodate increased operating costs during the holiday season. 

Small Packages:

Zone Weight Price Increase
1-4 0-10 lbs $0.25
5-9 0-10 lbs $0.75

Mid-Size Packages

Zone Weight Price Increase
1-4 11-20 lbs $1.50
5-9 11-20 lbs $3.00

Large Packages

Zone Weight Price Increase
1-4 21-70 lbs $2.50
5-9 21-70 lbs $5.00

With these prices in mind, let’s look at an example. 

Say you’re shipping a package that weighs 5 pounds through USPS’s Parcel Select and it’s shipping out to Zone 3 (151-300 miles away). With Shippo’s discount applied, you can expect to spend approximately $8.63 to ship out that product using USPS during peak season. 

With Shippo, you can expect to spend $8.38 on that same package now.

Shippo’s USPS shipping calculator can be used anytime of the year to estimate your shipping costs before sending out a particular package.

How Shippo Customers Will Be Impacted By USPS Peak Season Pricing

Despite the USPS raising their prices during the holiday season, you’ll still be able to get sizable discounts on your shipments when using Shippo. 

For example, at the beginning of 2021, the USPS raised the prices on all of their service levels at varying percentages. But, Shippo customers have still been able to save an average of 14.1% for USPS  services such as Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground. 

Shippo customers have also been able to capitalize on discounts across their services throughout this year and will continue to do so. 

Why USPS Makes Sense For 2021 Holiday Shipping

Using USPS will still be a low cost shipping option for your products despite the rate adjustments. This is because every carrier is planning on increasing their costs during peak season. 

For small packages that can fit into a typical mailbox, USPS will still be the lowest cost choice.

Other benefits of using USPS to ship products this peak season include:

  • Shipping supplies at no cost for expedited products (i.e. Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail)
  • Scheduled pick-ups are free
  • USPS can reach every resident of the U.S.
  • No surcharges for fuel or residential delivery

Shipping with USPS through Shippo gives you these benefits along with discounted shipping labels, better tracking for your shipments, free return labels, and more. 

How To Save Money On USPS Shipping During Peak Season

There are a couple of actions you can take to somewhat offset the cost of shipping with USPS during peak season.

The first would be making sure you use the right USPS service for delivering your product. 

For example, if what you’re sending is heavy but can fit inside of a Flat Rate box, you could possibly avoid the added cost caused by the weight that is standard with other services. Also, packaging to the size of your product is crucial. Excess space taken up by the package could result in a higher rate. 

The other action is to sign up with Shippo (if you haven’t already, that is). With Shippo’s discounts you can save up to 89% on USPS rates, not just over the holidays, but all year ‘round shipping costs.

To learn more about how to approach shipping during peak season, be sure to visit our holiday shipping center.  

Hasan Nabulsi is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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