USPS Announces Postage Rate Increase – Starts April 26, 2015

March 4th, 2015 Comments off

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IMPORTANT UPDATE!  On March 27, the USPS announced they will delay the implementation of the 2015 rate increase and classification changes scheduled to start on Sunday, April 26, 2015. USPS rates WILL NOT be changing on April 26, 2015.  

The U.S. Postal Service has announced a postage rate increase for select mail classes and services for 2015. The new postage rates will start on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

First Class Letters & Postcards
The cost to send a one ounce First Class Letter will NOT BE INCREASING and will remain $0.49. Additional ounces will cost $0.22, a one cent increase from 2014. Postcard rates will increase by one cent to $0.35, from $0.34 in 2014.

If you print postage online or use a postage meter, the “Metered Mail” rate for a one ounce First Class Letter will be increasing by $0.005 to $0.485 from $0.48. The Metered Mail rate is a discount provided to users who print postage online and through a postage meter.

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Priority Mail Express

For Priority Mail Express packages, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015.

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Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes and the Flat Rate Box, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015.

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Priority Mail
For Priority Mail packages, rates will NOT BE INCREASING in 2015. As a reminder, Priority Mail rates were reduced in September 2014. With 2 day delivery to over 90% of U.S. addresses and improved tracking, Priority Mail is a great shipping option for e-commerce sellers.

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Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
For Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes, rates will NOT BE INCREASING for 2015.

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Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes
For Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes, rates will NOT BE INCREASING for 2015. Regional Rate Boxes provide shippers a low cost option for packages traveling shorter distances.

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First Class Package Service
First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 5.1% in 2015. For packages that weigh 13 ounces or less, First Class Package Service remains the lowest cost option to ship a package to a U.S. address.

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Parcel Select (nonpresort)
Prices for Parcel Select (nonpresort), the U.S. Postal Service’s ground shipping product, will increase an average of 9.8% in 2015. While the average rate is increasing, the USPS did lower Parcel Select prices in some shipping zones.  In Zones 1 to 4 for packages weighing between 6 lbs. through 24 lbs, rates are decreasing by as much as $9.35 per package (15 lb., Zone 4). There are no price increases for Zones 1 to 4 for packages weighing 25 lbs. through 70 lbs.

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Media Mail
Media Mail rates will see an average increase of 6.2% in 2015. For books, videos and other products that qualify, Media Mail remains a great low cost shipping option.

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First Class Letters & Postcards – International
The cost to send a one ounce First Class Letter to an international destination will increase five cents, to $1.20 from $1.15. Postcard rates will increase by five cents, to $1.20 from $1.15 in 2014.

First Class Package International Service
The overall increase for First Class Package International Service will be 7.2% in 2015.  The average price increases by pound are:

  • Up to 1 lb. – Average increase of $0.66
  • Up to 2 lbs. – Average increase of $1.29
  • Up to  3 lbs. – Average increase of $1.65
  • Up to 4 lbs. – Average increase of $2.01

First Class Package International Service remains the cheapest option among all carriers to ship internationally. It also includes tracking for the most popular countries including the U.K., Australia and Canada.

Priority Mail International
The overall increase for Priority Mail International will be 5.5% in 2015. Additionally, the USPS is introducing Zone-based pricing for Priority Mail International packages traveling to Canada. Canada will be split into 7 zones with rates ranging from $30.75 to $37.50 for a 1 lb. package.

Priority Mail Express International
The overall increase for Priority Mail Express International will be 6.7% in 2015.

Global Express Guaranteed
The overall increase for Global Express Guaranteed will be 7.2% in 2015.

Stamps.com Will Automatically Update to the New USPS Rates on April 26, 2015
Stamps.com will automatically update all USPS rates inside the software and web-based version (Stamps.com Online) on Sunday, April 26, 2015. If you are a Stamps.com customer, no additional actions are needed and you will see the new USPS rates automatically.

[Infographic] Shipping Carrier Comparison: UPS vs. FedEx vs. the USPS

April 1st, 2014 Comments off

Stamps.com recently compiled an infographic revealing new data on how UPS, FedEx and the USPS compare in package tracking events, delivery times and overall costs. Stamps.com staff shipped 144 packages to all eight shipping zones across the U.S. from three separate locations.

Below is the full infographic. Learn more about carrier tracking scans, speed of delivery and total shipping costs (including surcharges) by downloading the free Who’s Winning the Shipping War? white paper.

Can’t see the UPS vs. FedEx vs. the USPS infographic? View it here (use your browser zoom to enlarge).

UPS vs. FedEx vs the USPS - Compare Shipping Carriers

If you’re looking for more interesting e-commerce shipping insight and data, Download the FREE white paper – Who’s Winning the Shipping War?

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

USPS to Resume Overseas Shipping of Lithium Batteries

November 20th, 2012 Comments off
USPS to Resume Overseas Shipping of Lithium Batteries
As of November 15, 2012, the USPS will resume shipping packages that contain lithium batteries to many international destinations, including APO/FPO locations. Lithium batteries are included in many popular electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles, smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices.
In March 2012, the USPS banned the shipment of lithium batteries in order to comply with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The batteries can explode or catch fire in certain conditions during overseas transport.
The USPS is still prohibiting lithium batteries that are not installed in the equipment they are intended to operate.
Get more info on the International Acceptanace of Lithium Batteries from the USPS.
Battery Image: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

lithium-batteriesAs of November 15, 2012, the USPS will resume shipping packages that contain lithium batteries to many international destinations, including APO/FPO locations.

Lithium batteries are included in many popular electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles, smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices.

In March 2012, the USPS banned the shipment of lithium batteries in order to comply with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The batteries can explode or catch fire in certain conditions during overseas transport.

The USPS is still prohibiting lithium batteries that are not installed in the equipment they are intended to operate.  Get more info on the International Acceptance of Lithium Batteries from the USPS website.

Battery Image: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

USPS Ranks #1 in the World for Postal Service

February 6th, 2012 Comments off

Rest assured, if you’re mailing and shipping with the U.S. Postal Service, you’re doing business with the best. And not just the best in the country, but also the best in the world. Oxford Strategic Consulting (OSC) recently ranked the USPS number one in the world for postal service. The ranking comes from an OSC report that lists the world’s best postal service providers based on competitive criteria.

What was the judging criteria?
Looking around the globe, OSC examined postal service providers over three years against three key metrics:

  • Access to vital services
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Performance and Public Trust

What it takes to be number one…
What details from the report should you know? That the USPS won over all other providers because of its high operating efficiency and public faith in its performance. In fact, the report shows that the USPS handles over five times more letters per full-time delivery employee than Germany’s privatized provider, Deutsche Post. So if you’ve been placing your mailpieces in the hands of the USPS, keep it up. If you haven’t, you should be. They’re number one — and now they’ve got the ranking to prove it!

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Click Here to see the entire Oxford Strategic Consulting report on global postal services here

Why is my package in St. Paul? The true story of Undeliverable Mail.

April 28th, 2011 Comments off
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USPS Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, GA

Where does undeliverable mail go? It’s probably crossed your mind once or twice. Letters to Santa… misaddressed  packages with no return info…  mail with unreadable addresses? Much like your missing socks, it all has to go somewhere and can’t just disappear.

The USPS addresses unaddressed mail
The good news is the always-reliable USPS® has it all mapped out. They have a very efficient system in place to ensure that mail is delivered to the rightful owners, customer privacy is protected, and lost items are reused. How do they do it? There are a series of important steps or, as I like to call them, “destinations.”

Destination #1: The Post Office™
It all starts at your local Post Office. The USPS attempts to deliver all mail, and undeliverable mail pieces are sent to the USPS Mail Recovery Center. Within the U.S., there are two Mail Recovery Centers located in Atlanta, Georgia and St. Paul, Minnesota. Believe it or not, the USPS started the first Mail Recovery Center in 1825. In 2006, exactly 181 years after its creation, 90 million items were sent to the centers.

Destination #2: Mail Recovery Centers
You may be unfamiliar with Mail Recovery Centers, but chances are they have a mail piece belonging to you. Exactly how do they try to return it to you? First, items are scanned by machines to determine if they contain items of value such as checks, credit cards, money orders, etc. Mail that contains valuables is opened in an attempt to identify an address where the piece can be forwarded or returned.

In the instance where an undeliverable letter contains a check, the check is shredded and an explanation letter and image of the check are mailed to the address on the check. If the mail piece cannot be delivered or returned, and is worth less than $25, it’s destroyed to protect customer privacy. If the mail piece is determined to be an item of value, meaning it’s worth more than $25, it will be held anywhere between 3 to 12 months, depending on the type of mail piece. Beyond that, valuable items are auctioned off, which brings us to our third destination.

Destination #3: United States Postal Service Auctions
Going once… going twice… undeliverable items are sold! And on behalf of the USPS, Stamps.com would like to invite you to attend the USPS Auctions that are hosted in Atlanta throughout the year. The Atlanta Mail Recovery Center holds the public auctions on the sale of unclaimed, damaged and claim-paid merchandise. Click here to find the dates, times and location on the USPS website.

Don’t let your packages (or socks) go missing
The USPS makes every effort to ensure that your mail is delivered, and you can easily do the same. Let’s say you want to mail a really good friend some new socks. Your first step should be to include your return address in the top left corner of the package. Next, place your business card, letterhead or a note with your contact info inside your package. In the rare event your package is lost, the Mail Recovery Center will use your info to return your socks to you. Let’s hear it for the USPS!

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.