International Shipping Services: Summary of 2018 USPS Rate Increase

February 9th, 2018 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service provides multiple shipping services for international delivery and ships to more than 180 countries. Depending on the service you choose, delivery times vary from 3 days to over 10 days for economical options. As with its domestic offerings, USPS also offers international flat rate options and even provides free shipping supplies for those mail classes.

Here’s what you need to know about USPS international mail classes now that the 2018 rate increases have gone into effect (as of January 21, 2018):

First-Class Package International Service

First-Class Package International Service is the USPS’ most affordable international service for the delivery of small packages. The maximum weight for this mail class is four pounds, and delivery time varies by destination.

  • First-Class Package International Service rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase First-Class Package International Service online, you’ll save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

Priority Mail International

Priority Mail International is a cost-effective service that delivers mailpieces and packages weighing up to 70 pounds. This mail class offers international delivery in 6-10 days.

  • Priority Mail International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

The charts below show 2018 rates and provide the increase per package when comparing new rates with the 2017 rates:

Priority Mail Express International

Priority Mail Express International offers date-specific delivery and a money-back guarantee when shipping to select countries, with delivery in 3-5 days. The maximum allowable package weight for Priority Mail Express International is 70 pounds.

  • Priority Mail Express International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail Express International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the Priority Mail Express International increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

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Stamps.com automatically updated with new 2018 USPS rates

January 21st, 2018 Comments off

The 2018 USPS rate increase go into effect on Sunday, January 21, 2018. No action is required of customers, as Stamps.com mailing and shipping solutions are designed to reflect real-time USPS pricing and will transition to the new rates in real time. This way our customers can print postage without any service disruptions.

Below you’ll find a summary of the 2018 postage rate increase for Commercial Base (online postage) prices by mail class:

Get more information about the 2018 postage rate increase here, or download our free 2018 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide.

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Priority Mail: Summary of 2018 Shipping Rate Increase

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

Priority Mail is a quick yet economical shipping service that provides delivery anywhere in the U.S. within two to three days. The maximum allowable package weight for this mail class is 70 pounds. Priority Mail also includes USPS Tracking and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments.

Stamps.com customers enjoy discounts of up to 39 percent over the Post Office rate on all Priority Mail shipments, depending on weight and distance. These discounts are automatically calculated by the Stamps.com software.

Price Changes to Priority Mail in 2018

Priority Mail rates will see an average increase of 6.2 percent starting Jan. 21, 2018. A one-pound package traveling from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8) will cost $7.76 in 2018, up from $7.25 in 2017.

Priority Mail – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Mailpiece Weight

2018

2017

Increase

1 lb. – Zone 8

$7.76

$7.25

$0.51

2 lbs. – Zone 8

$10.80

$10.28

$0.52

3 lbs. – Zone 8

$15.34

$14.90

$0.44

4 lbs. – Zone 8

$18.15

$17.61

$0.54

5 lbs. – Zone 8

$21.03

$20.41

$0.62

6 lbs. – Zone 8

$24.07

$23.37

$0.70

7 lbs. – Zone 8

$27.04

$26.25

$0.79

8 lbs. – Zone 8

$30.36

$29.47

$0.89

9 lbs. – Zone 8

$33.75

$32.77

$0.98

10 lbs. – Zone 8

$36.71

$35.64

$1.07

Rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Flat Rate Envelopes will also increase in 2018. A Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope will cost $7.10 in 2018, up from $6.50 in 2017.

 

Priority Mail Flat Rate – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Mailpiece

2018 2017

Increase

Flat Rate Envelope

$6.55 $5.95 $0.60

Legal Flat Rate Envelope

$6.85

$6.25

$0.60

Padded Flat Rate Envelope

$7.10

$6.50

$0.60

Small Flat Rate Box

$7.05

$6.45

$0.60

Medium Flat Rate Box

$12.85

$12.40

$0.45

Large Flat Rate Box

$17.65

$17.05

$0.60

APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box $16.15 $15.55

$0.60

 

While prices for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes will increase for most Zones in 2018, it’s worth noting that rates are dropping by $0.30 for Box B in Zone 5, and rates will remain the same for Box A in Zone 5.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide a great cost savings over regular Priority Mail when your parcel is over two pounds. For example, a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A that weights five pounds for delivery to Zone 8 will cost $10.80 in 2018 compared to $21.03 for regular Priority Mail.

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)

INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates

Box A                
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2017 $6.52 $6.60 $6.83 $8.15 $9.19 $9.99 $10.28 $15.14
2018 $7.10 $7.25 $7.40 $8.15 $9.47 $10.29 $10.80 $15.33
Change $0.58 $0.65 $0.57 $0.00 $0.28 $0.30 $0.52 $0.19
Box B
Period Zones
1 & 2
Zone
3
Zone
4
Zone
5
Zone
6
Zone
7
Zone
8
Zone
9
2017 $7.17 $8.01 $9.19 $10.95 $15.68 $17.93 $20.41 $28.72
2018 $7.41 $8.42 $9.37 $10.65 $16.15 $18.47 $21.03 $29.15
Change $0.24 $0.41 $0.18 ($0.30) $0.47 $0.54 $0.62 $0.43

Get more information on the 2018 USPS postage rate increase.

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Important: USPS making changes to First-Class Mail International Flats

December 26th, 2017 Comments off


Jan 21, 2018 Update: Stamps.com has launched a new International Flat service.  Get more info on how to ship merchandise with International Flats.

Merchandise No Longer Allowed in First Class Mail International Flats
If you ship merchandise abroad using USPS First Class Mail International Flats, there’s a new rule going into effect soon that you need to know about. Effective Sunday, January 21, 2018, First Class Mail International Large Envelope/Flat service for merchandise will NO LONGER be available from the USPS. First Class Mail International Flats will only be approved for use when sending documents. This change is occurring to comply with Universal Postal Union requirements.

Here are some examples of what USPS considers a document (still OK to ship using First Class Mail International Flats):

  • Audit and business records
  • Personal correspondence
  • Circulars
  • Pamphlets
  • Advertisements
  • Written instruments not intended to be resold
  • Money orders, checks, and similar items that cannot be negotiated or converted into cash without forgery.

Here are examples of items that will NO LONGER be allowed to be shipped as First Class Mail International Flats, effective Jan. 21, 2018:

  • CDs, DVDs, flash drives, video and cassette tapes, and other digital and electronic storage media (regardless of whether they are blank or contain electronic documents or other prerecorded media)
  • Artwork
  • Collector or antique document items
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Printed music
  • Printed educational or test material
  • Player piano rolls
  • Commercial photographs, blueprints and engineering drawings
  • Film and negatives
  • X-rays
  • Separation negatives

These goods are dutiable and must be must be shipped using First Class Package International Service. Once this change goes into effect, shippers will need to include Customs Forms and the recipient could pay a duty or tax to receive the product.

Cost Savings Using First Class Mail International Flats
Moving from First Class Mail International Flats to First Class Package International Service will have a big impact on shippers. For example, here’s a cost comparison for items going to Canada:

Shipping Rates to Canada (as of Jan 21, 2018)

First Class International Cost Comparison
Flats vs. Packages

Weight (oz.)

First Class Mail International Flats

(goods NOT allowed)

First Class Package International Service
(goods allowed)

Cost Increase to move to First Class Package International Service

1

$2.29 $9.50 +$7.21

2

$2.50 $9.50 +$7.00

3

$2.71 $9.50 +$6.79
4 $2.91 $9.50

+$6.59

5

$3.12 $9.50

+$6.38

6 $3.33 $9.50

+$6.17

7

$3.54 $9.50 +$5.96
8 $3.75 $9.50

+$5.75

12 $4.79 $15.20

+$10.41

16 – 1 lb.

$5.83 $15.20 +$9.37

20

$6.87 $15.20

+$8.33

24 $7.91 $15.20

+$7.29

28

$8.95 $15.20 +$6.25
32 – 2 lbs. $9.99 $15.20

+$5.21

36

$11.03 $23.99

+$12.96

40

$12.08 $23.99

+$11.91

44

$13.12 $23.99

+$10.87

48 – 3 lbs.

$14.16 $23.99

+$9.83

52

$15.20 $35.39

+$20.19

56

$16.24 $35.39

+$19.15

60

$17.28 $35.39

+$18.11

64 – 4 lbs. $18.32 $35.39

+$17.07

 

Stamps.com Introduces Global Advantage Program
Stamps.com has introduced the Global Advantage Program, a new international service  that lets you keep the cost benefits of shipping merchandise with First-Class Mail International Flats.

The Global Advantage Program includes these great benefits:

  • Allows you to ship merchandise using a service similar to First Class International Flats
  • Does not require Customs Forms
  • Plus much more!

To learn more and to have the Global Advantage Program activated to your account, please contact your Stamps.com Account Manager or call 1-855-889-7867 today!

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Post Offices with Extended Hours Help Holiday Stress

November 30th, 2017 Comments off

Wishing you could give yourself the gift of more time this busy holiday season? If you’re working long hours and trying to figure out when you’ll have a moment to pop over to the Post Office to ship all those holiday packages, don’t stress. Most cities have a Post Office that stays open beyond the standard 5 p.m. closing time, with Post Offices in some cities remaining open well into the night.

With that in mind, here is a list of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the information for at least one Post Office with after-hours closing time. This way you can give yourself a break and stop stressing about finding time to drop off holiday packages.

Use the USPS Find Location tool to search for local Post Office locations and hours. Just input your ZIP Code to find a Post Office in your area: https://tools.usps.com/go/POLocatorAction.action

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