USPS Temporary Rate Increases 2021

By Rob Zaleski
Sep 27, 2021
Gift inside a package

USPS has announced that they will implement their USPS Temporary Rate Increase once again for the peak holiday season. These increased rates will apply to many of the most popular services offered by USPS and used by many small business merchants. In this post, we’ll explain which services are affected and how these changes impact your e-commerce business.

USPS Temporary Rate Increase 2021

This year, USPS is not implementing a single increase in shipping rates per shipping service for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground. They have split the increases by Zone (based on the distance a package is traveling) as well as package weight. The following changes will take place on October 3, 2021, and run through December 26, 2021.

Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground temporary rate increases are the services that will affect small business merchants the most. The changes merchants need to be prepared for are:

  • $0.75 increase for PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes.
  • $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs.
  • $0.75 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs.
  • $1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs.
  • $3.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs.
  • $2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs.
  • $5.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs.

There are other services that USPS is implementing a flat increase on for the holiday season. The service most applicable to many small business merchants is First-Class Package Service, which is the cheapest way to ship anything under 1 pound. This is a popular shipping method for merchants who sell clothing, jewelry, and other lightweight products.

ProductCurrentPlanned Increase
Parcel Select Destination Delivery Unit (DDU)Starts at $3.30No change
Parcel Select Lightweight (DDU)Starts at $2.15No change
First Class Package Service CommercialStarts at $3.0130 cents
First Class Package Service RetailStarts at $4.0030 cents
Parcel Select Lightweight (DSCF and DNDC)Starts at $2.55$1.00
Parcel Select DSCFStarts at $4.84$1.00
Parcel Select DNDCStarts at $6.85$1.00
Parcel Return ServiceStarts at $3.21$1.00

What should your business do?

Many shipping providers implement peak season surcharges to help them keep up with the busy season. This is particularly true as we anticipate another potentially record-breaking holiday shopping season. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many more consumers have become comfortable shopping online and will likely do so again this year. That means businesses will be shipping more and will need to meet the demand of these customers.

Download our free small business checklist guide! We dive into new consumer expectations due to the pandemic and how small/local/independent businesses can compete!

Compare carriers and services

It will be more important than ever to make sure you have options. Simply sticking to a single carrier and/or service is not smart shipping. When you sign up for ShippingEasy, we provide you with discounted rates through USPS and UPS, with a rate calculator so you can compare rates in a single screen. Choose the cheapest or the fastest, depending on your promise to customers, with just a couple of clicks.

Also worth noting, when you get discounted UPS rates through ShippingEasy, you avoid peak season surcharges normally charged on UPS packages.

Optimize packaging

When you’re trying to cut down on shipping costs, every ounce counts. Let’s take an example from the above Priority Mail increases. If your package comes in at 10 pounds and is going to Zone 6, the USPS temporary rate increase is $0.75. If your packing materials and package size bump that weight to 11 pounds going to Zone 6, the surcharge jumps to $3.00. That’s a 300% increase!

If you’re not already aware, you can get free shipping supplies from the carriers themselves. This is a great way to cut down on costs and take advantage of specific services like flat-rate shipping. You can even have these supplies delivered directly to your door. You save time and money, which will be uber important this busy holiday season.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box

ShippingEasy has an award-winning support team to help merchants find opportunities to save time and money. We help you set up easy shipping automation to take tasks off of your plate so you can focus on running your business. Take ShippingEasy for a spin, free for 30 days, by clicking below. That way, you’ll be set up for success come holiday season and finding ways to still save on shipping despite the USPS temporary rate increase coming October 3.

Start Saving on Shipping

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Rob Zaleski

Content Marketing Manager 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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