For years, a three-tiered system has defined USPS shipping rates. Its categories include: Retail (what you’d get at a post office location or USPS.com), Commercial Base Pricing (discounted rates with no volume requirement for businesses shipping through various means outlined here), and Commercial Plus Pricing (major discounts typically available only for high-volume shippers, or for businesses using a shipping platform like ShippingEasy).
These tiers will change on January 27, when USPS rate changes take effect for 2019. USPS is making Commercial Base Pricing shipping rates and Commercial Plus Pricing Rates the same on all its major shipping methods, like Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail International, Global Express Guaranteed, and others. While we break down some of the major impacts of the recent rate changes in our previous article, we’ll focus on what the removal of Commercial Base Pricing in the 2019 USPS shipping rates means for online merchants and e-commerce retailers here.
2019 USPS Shipping Rates: CBP vs CPP
In their summary of the changes coming in the 2019 USPS shipping rates, the Postal Service says:
The Commercial Base prices will increase 3.2 percent on average and will be equal to the Commercial Plus prices, in order to align with the industry standard in the marketplace of offering one set of commercial prices for each product.
This is good news for two reasons. First, businesses no longer have to worry about whether they are getting the best USPS shipping rates (particularly if they rely on a free or paid solution like ShippingEasy). Commercial Plus Pricing will be the default for all commercial shippers.
The second—and possibly more important benefit is that small businesses can access these rates without meeting a volume requirement, as Commercial Plus Pricing was previously only available to high-volume shippers. This discount over retail is significant, even if it comes at the expense of other rates (like the 5.9% average increase to Priority Mail).
|Flat Rate Envelopes||$7.35||$6.95||5.6%|
|Legal Flat Rate Envelope||$7.65||$7.25||5.4%|
|Padded Flat Rate Envelope||$8.00||$7.55||5.8%|
|Small Flat Rate Box||$7.90||$7.50||5.2%|
|Medium Flat Rate Boxes||$14.35||$12.80||11.4%|
|Large Flat Rate Boxes||$19.95||$17.60||12.5%|
|APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box||$18.45||$16.10||13.6%|
This is not the only major change coming with the new 2019 USPS shipping rates. Stay tuned for a deep dive into Dimensional Weight (DIM weight), which will apply to all packages over 1 cubic foot. The divisor that will be used to calculate DIM weight will match that of FedEx and UPS, which is 166. We’ll offer a deeper dive into how that might affect e-commerce merchants, particularly those who ship larger but lighter items. USPS sums this change up as:
Consistent with industry standard, the Postal Service is expanding dimensional (DIM) weighting to all zones for Priority Mail, for parcels over one cubic foot (using a dimensional divisor of 166); and implementing DIM weight pricing for Priority Mail Express retail and commercial parcels and Parcel Select Non-lightweight (all entry locations). Postage for Parcel Select Non-lightweight and Priority Mail Express parcels exceeding 1 cubic foot will be priced based on the actual weight or the dimensional weight (using a dimensional divisor of 166), whichever is greater.
Remember, the 2019 USPS shipping rates won’t change until January 27, so don’t panic. You can count on ShippingEasy to not only guide you through the 2019 USPS shipping rates, but also help you ship smarter with the best rates. Click below to read our summary of all the 2019 USPS shipping rate changes, then give our platform a try FREE for 30 days!