The busiest time of the year for the U.S. Postal Service is about to become the most expensive.
Earlier this month, USPS announced that they’re planning to charge their commercial customers a little bit more money this holiday season to help keep up with an expected surge of online shopping.
Here’s what you need to know:
Temporary price hikes will take place from Oct. 18 – Dec. 27, 2020.
We’ve seen how FedEx and UPS have added “peak surcharges” in past holiday seasons, and even during the coronavirus pandemic.
The USPS is following their competitors, predicting a high-volume holiday season, and has added the unprecedented temporary price increases to help ease the strain on their infrastructure.
You won’t pay more at the Post Office, but will probably pay more for online shipping.
Just like we saw when UPS and FedEx raised prices during the surge of demand at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, these USPS price hikes only affect the commercial parcels of business customers. Retail customers won’t pay extra at the Post Office.
That doesn’t mean you won’t absorb the costs, though. Sellers that use the USPS for order fulfillment — Target and Amazon among them — are expected to pass along the increases to customers.
Five different USPS service types will see price increases.
Prices are going up on the following USPS commercial/business offerings:
- Priority Mail Express: 1-2 day expedited, insured shipping
- Priority Mail:- 1-3 day expedited value shipping, under 70 lbs
- First-Class Package Service: Value-priced lightweight package shipping
- Parcel Select: High-volume bulk-priced delivery service
- Parcel Return Service: Prepaid, pre-printed return shipping labels for shippers with a high volume of returns
It will cost between $0.24 and $1.50 more to ship certain parcels.
Specifically, here are the increases that are coming:
- Parcel Select Destination Delivery (DDU) — starts at $3.19 with a $0.24 increase
- Parcel Return Service — starts at $3.05 with a $0.24 increase
- Parcel Select Lightweight — starts at $1.81 with a $0.24 increase
- First-Class Package Service Commercial — starts at $2.74 with a $0.25 increase
- Priority Mail Commercial — starts at $7.02 with a $0.40 increase
- Parcel Select Ground — starts at $6.92 with a $0.40 increase
- Parcel Select DSCF — starts at $4.37 with a $0.40 increase
- Parcel Select DNDC — starts at $5.98 with a $0.40 increase
- Priority Mail Express Commercial — starts at $22.75 with a $1.50 increase
UPS and FedEx have longer, more expensive temporary surcharges.
Between Oct. 4, 2020 and Jan. 16, 2021, UPS will add a $50 charge for each large package and $250 for deliveries that go beyond the surge limit of 25,000 parcels/week.
FedEx is adding an extra $52.50 for oversized packages and $350 for each delivery beyond the 40,000 parcels/week surge limit, between Oct. 5, 2020, and Jan. 17, 2021 (among other price hikes).