The USPS 2018 shipping rate changes took effect January 21, 2018 across all shipping services. Overall, rates increased for most products, weights, and zones. We’ll go over changes to the most popular USPS shipping services including Priority Mail, First Class Package, Flat Rate, and Regional Rate.
USPS 2018 Shipping Rate Changes Highlights:
- First Class 1-4 oz packages increased to $2.66 for 4 oz and under, while 5-8 oz increased in varying amounts—this is good for simplifying package rates on shipments less than 4 oz, but the variable increase for sellers that ship out 5-8 oz packages is certainly something to note
- Priority Mail rates increased for most packages, but note that some weight/zone combinations saw a decrease
- Unlike last year, there were changes to Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International or First-Class Mail International Package Service rates
Please note: We use Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) for this article. USPS has also updated Retail and Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) rates. For the sake of consistency, we’ll only be covering CPP. You can get CPP rates by using ShippingEasy for your e-commerce shipping.
Flat Rate 2018 Rate Changes
One of the biggest rate changes people look for are to USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes. This shipping service is a go-to for many online sellers for its simplicity, free packaging, and competitive rate no matter how heavy or far the package is traveling. Padded flat rate envelopes, arguably the best value of all flat rate services, saw a 60-cent increase (nearly 10%), making it 5 cents more expensive than using a Small Flat Rate Box.
Priority Mail 2018 Rate Changes
Priority Mail is the core parcel shipping service for USPS. It’s a versatile shipping service that is used to ship millions of packages each day.
As an example, we’ve taken 4 lb. packages and compared 2017 rates to the new 2018 rates going to various Zones:
To quickly glance over 2018 Priority Mail rates, here is a rate chart for 2018 Commercial Plus Priority Mail shipments:
First Class Package 2018 Rate Changes
First Class Package service, the most popular and cheapest USPS service to ship packages under 1 lb., saw an increase across all weight categories with an average increase of 19 cents. The lightest packages, from 1 oz. to 4 oz., saw a five-cent increase.
Regional Rate Shipping 2018 Rate Changes
Regional Rate service, a less used but useful shipping service that comes in preset boxes you order online and is cheaper when shipping short distances, saw a small rate increase for both Regional Rate Box A and Regional Rate Box B. One outlier is a 30-cent rate reduction for Box B shipments going to Zone 5—but Regional Rate shipments are mainly designed to be shipped to Zones 1-4.
Also contrary to last year, international shipments will be seeing rate increases this year, across the board. First Class Package International will still be a very competitive service, though.
While USPS is increasing their rates, the increases are modest and below the percentage increases UPS and FedEx implemented for their services. Commercial Plus Pricing will also still be available to give sellers better discounts on packages.
To help you better understand the full effects of the 2018 USPS shipping rates increase, download our 2018 The E-commerce Seller’s Guide to 2018 Rate Changes!