What You Need to Know for the Upcoming USPS Changes

July 16, 2013


This year seems full of USPS changes, from the rate changes at the beginning of the year, then the cut of Saturday delivery (and the subsequent re-implementation of the service) to the new changes happening on the 28th of this month. Most of the changes aren’t catastrophically different, but there are things you need to know.

Express Mail is now Priority Mail Express

In addition to the name change, the estimated time of arrival will be printed on each of your labels. Either “1 DAY” or “2 DAY” will be printed for PME labels, depending on the actual estimated delivery time of the shipment.

Priority Mail now includes some USPS insurance

The amount of insurance you get is dependent upon the rates for which you are eligible. Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) and Retail rates get $50 of included insurance, while Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) and Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) rates get $100.

Some parts of the label have changed

Just like with the new Priority Mail Express labels having an estimated delivery time on them, so too will the “regular” Priority Mail labels. Unfortunately, these are auto-generated by the system based on the origin and destination, and there’s no way to specifically select 1, 2, or 3-day delivery. Additionally, you’ll also find a Carrier Routing code in the top right of the delivery address on the new labels. Most of you probably won’t know what it means, but it is a change to the overall layout of the label.

Electronic Delivery Confirmation is available for 13 more countries

Now your shipments going to Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada (which was previously available), Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, & Switzerland will automatically have the free Electronic Delivery Confirmation added.

What Do You Have to Do?

Nothing. We’ve got everything handled on this side, and we’ll be ready when the changes happen on July 28th.

USPS has put together an FAQ that covers a lot of the nitty gritty of the changes. You can find that here.

In this past week, you may have also noticed that First Class Mail Letters and Flat Envelopes can no longer be assigned to have Delivery or Signature Confirmation. Due to an error in Endicia’s systems, they were previously allowing such packages to go through, even though it is not a valid combination from USPS. Now, both Endicia & ShipStation are compliant with USPS’s policies and requirements.

If you need a tracking number for these types of shipments, we will automatically generate a fake (AKA non-trackable) number that you can send to your marketplace. For Amazon sellers, this specific feature will help to not negatively impact your seller rating when shipping via these non-trackable services. Alternatively, if you must have a tracking number, you can use a Thick Envelope, as it is a valid option for having an assigned tracking number. Just remember that your envelope must be at least 3/4″ thick, or it may be rejected by USPS.

As changes keep happening in the shipping world and with USPS, we’ll keep you up to date! Make sure to follow our Twitter, Facebook, or right here on the blog for the latest.