USPS Rate Changes to First Class International Shipping

By Rob Zaleski
Jun 13, 2019
First Class International Shipping Rate Changes

While most of the 2019 changes to shipping rates took place back in January, there were a couple of changes the USPS delayed until June. One of those changes is the restructuring of Dimensional Weight, which you can learn about here, and learn ways to minimize the effects here. Also happening on June 23 are First Class International shipping rate changes. We’ll go into a bit of what’s changing, what you need to know, and how ShippingEasy can help you cope.

The current state of First Class International Shipping

Before we talk about what’s changing, let’s make sure you know what the current state of First Class International shipping is. Below are a few different options available to you through the USPS and ShippingEasy.

  • First Class International Flats and Envelopes: USPS currently allows you to ship documents and forms up to 64 ounces. This is not meant to be used for merchandise you sell and are shipping to customers, though we’ve seen some sellers try to get away with sneaking it by the USPS. That is not recommended, as it can delay your shipments and cause you numerous headaches.
  • First Class International Merchandise: This service was done away with by USPS last year. ShippingEasy offers this through an exclusive partnership we have, which we’ll get into more in a bit. These items can weight up to 64 ounces when shipped through ShippingEasy.
  • First Class International Package Service: This is the standard USPS service for packages under 64 ounces. The shipping cost is broken down into 9 groups based on the international destination of the package. Front-door delivery is not guaranteed, tracking is not offered, and there is no included insurance on these packages. That being said, this is the most cost-effective way to ship lighter packages overseas, and merchants are free to use their own packaging for this service.

2019 First Class International Shipping Changes

There are a few changes coming to First Class International shipping that will certainly affect the way you send items both. Let’s take a quick look at these.

First Class International Flats and Envelopes

  • The maximum weight for this service is being reduced from 64 ounces down to 16 ounces. Anything greater than 16 ounces, up to 64 ounces (4 pounds) will now likely need to go regular First Class Package service. Once you exceed 4 pounds, look to Priority Mail International, which also offers some more perks. PMI comes with a 6-10 business day delivery window, though it’s not guaranteed. Insurance up to $200 is included in the service, and Flat Rate boxes and envelopes are available for packages up to 70 pounds.

First Class International Merchandise

  • This service is available through ShippingEasy and is available for international packages up to 4.4 pounds. There are also no minimums to qualify, so if you ship just a few international lighter packages, you can take advantage of this exclusive service.

First Class International Package Service

  • There are no structural changes planned by USPS for this service for 2019. The rates changed across the service in January. Some group rates increased, while others actually saw a decrease in rates.

While these changes aren’t as substantial as some of the other changes we outlined from January, they could have a major effect on merchants who ship smaller packages internationally. Here at ShippingEasy, we offer experts in shipping and fulfillment to help our customers make sure they’re shipping the smartest and most cost-effective way possible. We’d love to set aside a time to look at your processes and procedures to help you identify where you could improve and streamline. Set up a time to chat with us today, and let’s make your shipping easier!

Learn more about what all has changed in 2020 by downloading our free E-commerce Seller’s Guide to 2020 Shipping Rate Changes. Just click below!

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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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