3 Things You Need to Know about the 2019 USPS Rate Changes

3 Things You Need to Know about the 2019 USPS Rate Changes
February 4, 2019 Michelle McNamara
Man packaging product in studio

Every year, the U.S. Postal Service changes its rates. This year was no different, with new 2019 rates in effect as of January 27. At shipping software company Shippo, we did the hard work for you, diving into all of the new rates, comparing them to last year’s, and analyzing the rates so we can help your business take the new changes in stride.

So, what are the highlights of this year’s USPS rates? What do eCommerce businesses need to know to continue to get the most-affordable rates in 2019?  

We picked our Top 3 highlights from the 2019 USPS rate changes to share today. If you’d like greater detail, you can check out our entire 2019 USPS rate analysis.  

USPS Priority Mail Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) rates now match Commercial Base Pricing (CBP).

For background, many eCommerce sellers have access to either Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) or Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) rates through a shipping software like Shippo. This year, the USPS streamlined the rates it offers so that all CBP and CPP users will get the same rates. To reiterate, no matter what USPS shipping software you use, CPP prices will be the same as CBP.

So, what are the new CBP and CPP rates? Let’s take the USPS Priority Mail rates as our example.

USPS Priority Mail is a key service level for many eCommerce businesses. Packages shipped via Priority Mail will arrive within 1-3 business days. These shipments include USPS Tracking and insurance up to $50 for most shipments.

Here’s a sampling of the 2019 USPS Priority Mail rates for all Commercial users accessible via Shippo.

2019 USPS Priority Mail Rates

USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS) switched to zone-based pricing.

If you’re looking to ship a package under one pound, you’ll want to consider the USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS). This service is the most cost-effective option for lightweight shipments, if you’re willing to wait the extra business day or two that it will take to deliver, compared to Priority Mail.

This year, USPS FCPS changed to zone-based pricing, which means the shipping cost will now vary based on the distance the package travels. The pricing for packages shipped via Zones 1 and 2 are close to the same as 2018 rates. The rates go up from there, making it more expensive to send your products longer distances.

Overall, USPS FCPS is still a great option for lightweight items, especially when compared to FedEx and UPS. Here are the new 2019 USPS FCPS rates.

2019 USPS First Class Package Service Rates

The 2019 Hidden Gem: USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes

It’s pretty common knowledge that USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are a great option for small items weighing less than 20 pounds and traveling long distances in the U.S.

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes, however, are one of the Postal Service’s best-kept secrets. Although Regional Rate Boxes don’t get as much attention as their sister service level, USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, they operate much in the same way. If you want to use this service level, you have to ship using one of the USPS-produced Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes. You can get the boxes for free here.

Regional Rate Boxes that exceed the maximum weight limit as specified below, or the container flaps do not close within the normal folds will be assessed the applicable Priority Mail prices. Regional Rate Box options include:

  • Box A: (Side loading or top loading box), with a maximum weight limit of 15 pounds.
  • Box B: (Side loading or top loading box), with a maximum weight limit of 20 pounds.

Here are the 2019 USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A and B prices.

019 USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A & B

In our analysis, we found the USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A prices to be more affordable than USPS Priority Mail starting at the 3 pound package weight mark (except for Zones 1 and 2, where the threshold is 4 pounds). If your product will fit in the box, you should strongly consider this option.

Here’s a chart comparing Shippo’s USPS Priority Mail rates with our USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A prices. The Regional Rate Box A is a competitive option for any package that falls in the yellow cell. Keep in mind your product needs to fit in the dimensions of the boxes and you need to use the free USPS-provided boxes.

2019 USPS Priority Mail vs. Regional Rate Box A Prices

We found the USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B to be more affordable than USPS Priority Mail starting at the 6 or 7 pound package mark, depending on the Zone. Again, if you are shipping a heavy item and it fits in the box, this is a great option for you.

Here’s a chart comparing Shippo’s USPS Priority Mail rates with our USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B prices. Just like above, the Regional Rate Box B is a competitive option for any package that falls in the yellow cell.

2019 USPS Priority Mail vs. Regional Rate Box B Prices

While many of the 2019 USPS postage rates have changed from last year, the increased rates are oftentimes more affordable than the UPS or FedEx alternative. We recommend using a shipping software like Shippo to access deeply-discounted USPS postage rates, compare rates across carriers, and ship from multiple carriers at once, all in one dashboard. Sign up for Shippo to access these rates for your business.  

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