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USPS 2018 Shipping Rate Changes: Flat Rate, Priority, First Class, w/Tables

By Rob Zaleski, Nov 20, 2017

The USPS 2018 shipping rate changes take 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 increase to $2.66 for 4 oz and under, while 5-8 oz increase 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 increase for most packages, but notice that some weight/zone combinations actually see a decrease
  • Unlike last year, there will be 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 eCommerce shipping.

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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, will see a 60-cent increase (nearly 10%), making it 5 cents more expensive than using a Small Flat Rate Box.

2018 usps shipping rate changes Flat Rate

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:

priority mail shipping rates increase

To quickly glance over 2018 Priority Mail rates, here is a rate chart for 2018 Commercial Plus Priority Mail shipments:

2018 priority mail shipping rates

First Class Package 2018 Rate Changes

First Class Package service, the most popular and cheapest USPS service to ship packages under 1 lb., will see an increase across all weight categories with an average increase of 19 cents. The lightest packages, from 1 oz. to 4 oz., will see a five-cent increase.

2018 First Class Package service shipping rate 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, will see 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.

2018 USPS Flat Rate box A increases

 

2018 USPS Flat Rate box B increases

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.

Conclusion

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, keep an eye out for our 2018 The eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2018 Rate Changes, coming soon!

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