Sending USPS packages has become more expensive for the holidays. What there is to know

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A new USPS system-wide plan includes slowdowns and price increases starting this month.

Angela Lang / CNET

Planning to send vacation packages to friends and family this year? You’re going to want to budget a bit more to cover shipping costs if you’re using the US Postal Service. That’s because the USPS just increased the price of shipping packages during the holiday season.

You’ll also need to plan ahead and prepare your gift shipment early. The seasonal price hike – which lasts until December 26 – goes hand in hand with delivery delays which started earlier this month. Rate increases and slowdowns in first-class mail and parcels are part of a ten-year plan to stabilize the postal service’s difficult finances.

This summer, the USPS had already raised the prices of stamps, flat envelopes, media mail and more. And prices could continue to rise due to the 10-year cost reduction plan. Prices will likely be adjusted twice a year in the years to come.

Here’s what to know about the temporary price increases on parcel shipments, including what type of mail the new rules apply to and what to expect next year.

How have package prices changed with seasonal increases?

From October 3 to December 25, the U.S. Postal Service will increase the cost of shipping packages from 25 cents to $ 5 depending on the delivery service you choose and how far the package has to travel. Note that this price increase is not for letters – the post office increase in the price of stamps in August (see below for more information).

La Poste defines a “package” like anything that is not a postcard, a letter or a dish (a large envelope, a newsletter or a magazine). A box of cookies, for example, would be a package.

Here are the temporary price increases for shipping packages based on distance the package travels and weight for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground. Roughly, the distance traveled through zone 4 is 600 miles, from, say, Boston to Richmond, Virginia:

  • 75 cents for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat rate boxes and envelopes.
  • Increase of 25 cents for zones 1 to 4, 0 to 10 pounds
  • Increase of $ 1.50 for zones 1 to 4, 11 to 20 pounds
  • Increase of $ 2.50 for zones 1 to 4, 21 to 70 pounds
  • Increase of 75 cents for zones 5 to 9, 0 to 10 pounds
  • Increase of $ 3 for zones 5 to 9, 11 to 20 pounds
  • $ 5 increase for zones 5 to 9, 21 to 70 pounds

Do the higher postage rates apply to Amazon, UPS, and FedEx deliveries?

The current rate increase applies only to packages sent by the US Postal Service. UPS and FedEx are separate from the postal service. Some Amazon packages may arrive via the postal service, but Amazon sets these rates. here’s how track when a parcel will arrive at your doorstep.

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Amazon delivery prices are not part of the increase.

Why is the USPS increasing the prices of vacation packages?

To help fill a budget deficit, the service has been running since 2007, the US Postal Service is taking a series of measures overseen by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy – some more controversial than others – to put his financial house in order.

The temporary rate hike is intended to cover additional processing costs that the Postal Service said it expects to begin the first week of October with the increase in holiday-related shipments.

Hasn’t La Poste already increased its prices this year?

Yes. In August, the postal service increased the price of a first class stamp at 58 cents, compared to 55 cents. Before that, the last increase was in 2019, when the Postal Service lowered the price from 50 cents to 55 cents. Adjustment for inflation, you can see that the price of a stamp has not changed much over the past hundred years.

Could the USPS raise prices again?

Although the Postal Service describes this price increase during the holidays as temporary, it is the Postal regulation commission who sets the prices. According to a September 15 filing on USPS rate adjustments, there will be no further increase until July 2022. However, the announcement also predicts that from 2023, the Postal Service will apply price changes twice a year each year, in January and July.

For more information, here is an overview of the postal service’s policy for slow some first class mail. Here is also what we know of the rest payment of the child tax credit and which states send dunning checks now.


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