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U.S. Postal Service Hikes Shipping Prices
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 00:00
Priority Mail increases 3.3 percent on average; flat rate envelopes drop 5 cents

Prices for Priority Mail will increase an average of 3.3 percent on Jan. 4, 2010, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday. A range of higher prices will also go into effect in January for Express Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International, Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service.

The changes are not all upward. The domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope retail price will fall from $4.95 to $4.90. And the Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box will remain at $4.95.

To encourage greener, more efficient shipping, the Postal Service is introducing cubic volume-based pricing for large volume commercial Priority Mail shippers. Customers who ship small dense, spaceefficient packages will receive a financial incentive through a new, tiered pricing option.

Another innovation coming in January will be a Priority Mail half-pound price, based on distance, only in the Commercial Plus category. And, a new Priority Mail Flat Rate padded envelope measuring 9.5 x 12.5 inches will be available exclusively for Commercial Plus shippers. This envelope is specially designed for jewelry, electronics and other delicate goods.

“We have put together a range of creative and innovative products and services for our customers,” said Robert Bernstock, president of mailing and shipping services. “With these new offerings, the Postal Service is reinforcing the value of Priority Mail as the right product at the right time,” he said.

Prices for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Parcel Post and other mailing services products will not change in 2010, with the cost of a First-Class Mail stamp remaining at 44 cents.

Online discounts will be available. Online costs will be, on average, 5 percent less than retail for Express Mail and 5.7 percent less for Priority Mail. Online savings for international shipping will be 10 percent less than retail for Global Express Guaranteed, 8 percent less for Express Mail International and 5 percent less for Priority Mail International.

A complete listing of 2010 prices is available at under the Jan. 2010 Price Change link. The new prices and product innovations are pending Postal Regulatory Commission review.

Journal of Commerce, 11/4/2009