EDIT: January 17, 2016 has arrived!
Now that the USPS changes are in place, here are a few answers to common questions in our Support inbox!
Q1: ”Why are my rates higher?”
On January 17th, 2016, the USPS changed many of their services and increased many of their rates, notably Priority services. For more details, check out this USPS Press Release.
Q2: “Do I still have my discounts?”
You’re still getting rate discounts through the free Stamps.com provided with your ShipStation account; however, because the USPS increases were quite large, it may be difficult to notice the discounts at first glance.
Q3: “Why am I seeing (X rate) when it used to be (Y rate)?”
The new rate you see within ShipStation reflects the available rate from your connected USPS postage provider account. The rates you see in ShipStation should match the USPS’ posted Commercial Base Pricing (and sometimes even Commercial Plus Pricing) rates found in the USPS Rate Calculator.
Back to the article!
The USPS is making some changes, and after a few years of price reductions or no change at all, 2016 is bringing in increases to most service rates. We have the skinny for you on what to expect come the price change on January 17th, charts courtesy of Stamps.com:
- Customs + Label for Select Destinations: Instead of needing 3 separate pages for labels and customs forms, several destinations will now print the label and CP72 customs form on ONE label, saving you materials. Those locations are:
- All domestic locations requiring a customs form (i.e. APO, FPO, DPO, US territories and possessions).
- Costa Rica
- First Class Mail Package: Commercial Plus Pricing up to 16 oz is being removed, however, that means that First Class Mail (FCM) will now, by default, go up to 16 oz. In addition, FCM will be flat rate up to 8 oz. From 9 oz up to 16 oz, it’s more expensive at the lower end, a discount at the heavier. Overall, this means an average rate increase of 12.8%.
- Priority Mail Express Flat Rate: Flat Rate Boxes for Priority Mail Express (PME) will be eliminated entirely; Flat Rate Envelopes for PME will see an increase of $2.55 across the board.
- Priority Mail Express: PME will see an increase of 15.6% for nearly every package. The only decrease is for packages weighing 0.5 oz or less, heading to Zones 5, 6, or 7.
- Priority Mail: Priority Mail (PM) managed to go 3 years without a rate increase! 2016 will see PM rates increase by an average of 9.4%.
- Priority Mail Flat Rate: PM Flat Rate boxes and envelopes are going up from as little as $0.40 and as much as $0.85.
- Priority Mail Regional Rate: Almost all zones are seeing increases and the USPS is doing away with Box C entirely.
- Parcel Select Nonpresort: Parcel Select is getting a bit of a rebranding to become Parcel Select Ground in 2016 (you’ll see the name change on the labels) to go along with its rate changes, which actually see a decrease for packages between 3 – 10 lbs heading to Zones 1 – 5. Otherwise, it’s an average increase of 1.9%.
- Priority Mail Express Intl: Like its domestic counterpart, PME Intl is looking to remove the Flat Rate box while increasing rates on average 15.6%.
- Priority Mail Intl: PM Intl will be increasing about 10.2%. The USPS will also begin insuring PM Intl, based on the contents: $200 of insurance will be included at no additional cost for shipments not containing documents; $100 of insurance will be included at no additional cost for document shipments; Insurance will be included for all Priority Mail International packages, with the exception of Small Flat Rate Boxes and all Flat-Rate Envelopes, including padded and legal.
- First Class Mail Intl: We’re looking at a pretty big jump here: 21.6% increase.
NOTE: The rates shown above do NOT reflect the discounted rates (for certain services) available to ShipStation users through their free Stamps.com account.
That’s a lot to take in. But what it really boils down to is simple: Thanks to our relationship with Stamps.com, ShipStation is still offering you the best rates, automatically, that you’ll be getting for your USPS postage.
Remember, these new rates are active as of Sunday, January 17th!