The United States Postal Service introduced yet another set of new shipping fees on April 3, 2022. So, what does this mean for you and your business?
What are the new USPS shipping fees?
USPS had originally planned to kick off the new year with its new shipping rates, but instead graciously decided to postpone the implementation until April 3, 2022 to give customers more time to adjust to the changes. The main reason behind the raise in rates is to make it easier for USPS to manage manual handling costs, specifically when package dimensions exceed its sortation requirements.
These new nonstandard fees will affect both domestic retail and commercial mail that falls into any of the following categories: Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, USPS Retail Ground, and Parcel Select.
The surcharges will apply to packages that exceed certain dimensions. Here’s the breakdown:
- Packages longer than 22 inches: $4
- Packages longer than 30 inches: $15
- Packages longer than 2 cubic feet: $15
On the bright side, if you’re shipping Flat Rate products, Regional Rate products, or returns, these new shipping rates won’t apply.
What do the new USPS shipping fees mean for you?
While USPS increasing its shipping fees may not come as a surprise, it’s still important to be aware of exactly how these surcharges will affect you—especially when it comes to how quickly the fees can add up over time.
For example, if you’re sending packages that are 24 x 8 x 4”, a common long corrugated box, you’ll need to pay $4 per box because the packages are longer than 22 inches. However, let’s say you also have a package that’s 24 x 12 x 12”. You would not only have to pay the $4 for the length of the package, but because this box is also more than 2 cubic feet, you’d need to pay another $15, bringing your total to $19 in surcharges, just for one box.
If it didn't seem like there already weren’t enough fees, USPS has also decided to charge $1.50 to customers who either provide incorrect dimensions or don’t disclose dimensions at all.
This means that if you shipped, for example, a 32 x 10 x 10 box, you would need to pay $15 for the length being more than 30 inches, but if you for some reason also got the dimensions wrong, a fee of $1.50 would later be added to your cost.
Now, one $1.50 or $4 fee may not seem like a huge deal for one package, but consider the amount of packages you ship monthly or throughout the year. If you ship 2000 products a month and most of those require packaging that is longer than 22 inches, you would be looking at a sudden cumulative cost of $8000 every month — just for fees.
What can you do about these new shipping fees?
Unfortunately, carriers make changes to their shipping rates quite frequently and you may not always get the alert as they implement these costly updates. While there isn’t anything you can do to make USPS lower its shipping fees, you can still take action to keep your costs down.
First and foremost, you should try to optimize your packaging as much as possible. But if using smaller packaging isn’t an option for you, we recommend making use of a multi-carrier shipping software.
A multi-carrier shipping software would do the following for you:
- Account for the dimensions of your package
- Assess packing variants, such as which form is most optimal
- Obtain a cost from multiple carriers for your particular package size
- Automatically choose the best carrier for your shipment, factoring in any business rules that you’ve put in place
Mikel Richardson is Vice President of Product at ShipHawk. Mikel is a an expert in the development of fufillment and logistics SaaS solutions that are changing how SMB and mid-market companies approach cloud based inventory and fulfillment to scale their businesses. Your questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out ShipHawk’s platform or schedule a call now.