2019 USPS First Class Shipping Rates Changes

By Rob Zaleski
Nov 8, 2018
2019 First Class shipping rates

The rates in this blog are the 2019 USPS shipping rates. For the current 2023 USPS rates, visit our USPS 2023 Shipping Rate Changes: Flat Rate, Priority, First Class, w/Tables blog!

One of the most significant changes coming to the USPS shipping rates in 2019 are an overhaul of how First Class shipping rates will be calculated. What was typically the most economical means of shipping packages under 1 lb. will now see an average cost increase of 11.9%. This is predominantly due to transitioning from a flat cost regardless of domestic destination to Zone-based tiers, the way Priority Mail is currently calculated.

We offer a breakdown of how this plays out, and exactly what it means for online sellers who ship using First Class Package Service. Note, we break down all the below costs using Commercial Plus Pricing, which sellers can get through a shipping software like ShippingEasy.

Looking for the most up-to-date 2020 First-Class shipping rates? See our full breakdown here.

Note: As of October 19, 2022, ShippingEasy now offers the lowest USPSⓇ shipping rates in the industry, and the rates reflected in this blog are prior to this change and may not be accurate. For more information on these new rates, check out our blog!

How are the 2019 First Class Shipping Rates Calculated?

If you’ve used First Class shipping before, all you needed to know was the weight of your package, and you were able to ship anywhere domestically at a relatively inexpensive cost, particularly compared to other methods.

With the 2019 changes to First Class shipping rates, destination now matters, and it changes the costs in a big way. Looking at the chart below, you’ll see that local Zones 1 & 2 are similar to the 2018 First Class rates, and the cost goes up significantly from there.

First Class
1 & 2Zone 3Zone 4Zone 5Zone 6Zone 7Zone 8Zone 9
1 oz$2.66$2.68$2.70$2.76$2.84$2.96$3.09$3.09
2 oz$2.66$2.68$2.70$2.76$2.84$2.96$3.09$3.09
3 oz$2.66$2.68$2.70$2.76$2.84$2.96$3.09$3.09
4 oz$2.66$2.68$2.70$2.76$2.84$2.96$3.09$3.09
5 oz$3.18$3.20$3.22$3.28$3.36$3.49$3.63$3.63
6 oz$3.18$3.20$3.22$3.28$3.36$3.49$3.63$3.63
7 oz$3.18$3.20$3.22$3.28$3.36$3.49$3.63$3.63
8 oz$3.18$3.20$3.22$3.28$3.36$3.49$3.63$3.63
9 oz$3.82$3.85$3.88$3.96$4.06$4.19$4.33$4.33
10 oz$3.82$3.85$3.88$3.96$4.06$4.19$4.33$4.33
11 oz$3.82$3.85$3.88$3.96$4.06$4.19$4.33$4.33
12 oz$3.82$3.85$3.88$3.96$4.06$4.19$4.33$4.33
13 oz$4.94$4.98$5.02$5.12$5.24$5.38$5.53$5.53
14 oz$4.94$4.98$5.02$5.12$5.24$5.38$5.53$5.53
15 oz$4.94$4.98$5.02$5.12$5.24$5.38$5.53$5.53
15.999 oz$4.94$4.98$5.02$5.12$5.24$5.38$5.53$5.53

To really drive home how much of an effect the 2019 First Class shipping rates will have, let’s look at a couple specific examples:


  • 2018 First Class Package
    • 11 oz. package, Houston to Miami = $3.66
  • 2019 First Class Package
    • 11 oz. package, Houston to Miami (Zone 5) = $3.96 (+ $0.30)
  • 2018 First Class Package
    • 5 oz. package, New York to Los Angeles = $2.79
  • 2019 First Class Package
    • 5 oz. package, New York to Los Angeles (Zone 8) = $3.63 (+ $0.84)

If you are an online seller with a predominantly local customer base, you may not notice massive changes to your shipping costs. However, those who ship across the country on a regular basis will need to budget in substantially higher shipping costs for 2019, which could represent a significant burden.

Need to know: How to ship liquids with each carrier.

What about First Class shipping rates for international?

First class shipping rates are increasing for international shipping as well, but are maintaining the same structure as 2018. This structure goes ounce-by-ounce up to 8 oz., then breaks down every four ounces from there, up to 64 oz.

This chart shows all the 2019 changes coming to First Class shipping rates for international shipments.

First Class International
1 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
2 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
3 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
4 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
5 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
6 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
7 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
8 oz9.9811.6413.5413.5413.5413.7813.0612.8313.78
12 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
16 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
20 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
24 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
28 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
32 oz16.3920.4322.3322.8022.8023.2822.0921.6123.28
36 oz24.9431.3533.2534.9135.6336.8135.1533.0136.58
40 oz24.9431.3533.2534.9135.6336.8135.1533.0136.58
44 oz24.9431.3533.2534.9135.6336.8135.1533.0136.58
48 oz24.9431.3533.2534.9135.6336.8135.1533.0136.58
52 oz37.0545.1350.1156.5357.9559.8556.5352.4959.38
56 oz37.0545.1350.1156.5357.9559.8556.5352.4959.38
60 oz37.0545.1350.1156.5357.9559.8556.5352.4959.38
64 oz37.0545.1350.1156.5357.9559.8556.5352.4959.38

A bit of good news for those who do ship internationally using First Class shipping—there are many instances where the rates are staying the same as last year. For example, all weights in Price Groups 2 and 3 are keeping the same shipping cost. Heavier weights in Price Group 4 (36 oz. and above) are staying the same. The majority of Price Group 7 also isn’t increasing, save for packages weighing between 32-48 oz. Finally, 1 oz. through 32 oz. in Price Group 8 are maintaining their 2018 rates.

What does this mean for e-commerce shippers in 2019?

Even with these increases, First Class Package Service is likely still going to be the most cost-effective means of shipping lighter packages under 1 lb. Online sellers are going to have to make adjustments, particularly if you currently offer free shipping and just absorb the cost.

UPDATED: As a reminder, the 2020 USPS rate changes took effect on January 26, 2020. If you haven’t read our complete wrap-up of the changes to USPS shipping rates in 2020, click the button below to learn everything you need to know.

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Rob Zaleski

Head of Brand at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.

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