Most postal rates go up on Jan. 27


Postal rate

changes made last year are set to take effect

on Sunday, Jan. 27, for most mailing

and shipping.

The stamp for a first-class 1-oz. domestic

letter will increase by 5 cents to

55 cents and each additional ounce will

cost 15 cents, possibly the only decrease

from 21 cents.

“Forever” stamps, which can be used

as a first-class stamp regardless of how

much they cost when they were bought

at a post office, also will rise in price to

55 cents each on Jan. 27.

Metered 1-oz. mail will only increase

by 3 cents to 50 cents, making metered

envelopes 9-percent cheaper to mail than

the stamped rate, according to the U.S.

Postal Service.

First-class large envelopes remain at

$1 for the first ounce and go up 15 cents

for each additional ounce.

For those who send cards and letters to

Canada, Mexico and other international

destinations, the postage rate remains

$1.15 for an envelope or postcard up to

1 oz. Domestic postcard rates will stay

at 35 cents.

Shipping rates are set to change and

increase as the Postal Service moves to

zone-based pricing for first-class packages.

These will have an average rate

increase of 11.9 percent

for commercial packages

and 13.3 percent

for retail packages.

Prices will be based

on weight as well as a

package’s origin and

destination – the more

zones crossed, the

higher the rate. The

USPS map has nine

zones.

Flat-rate boxes will

go up; the current price

of a small box is $7.20

and goes up slightly to $7.90. Medium flatrate

boxes are now $13.65 and increase to

$14.35 and large boxes that are $18.90 will

increase to $19.95. Flat-rate shipping provides

the best deal for packages weighing

more than 2 pounds because they will still

be shipped to any zone for one rate, according

to Shipping Easy.

Priority mail rates will increase by an

average of about 6 percent. Parcel ground

select rates actually drop almost 2 percent.

Some sites that calculate how rates could

affect businesses offer advice that includes

switching to postage meters, adding another

piece of paper to a first-class envelope for

just 15 cents more and folding documents

in half so they fit in a 6-by-9-inch envelope

instead of using a large flat envelope.

Another notes that Priority Mail still

has flat-rate options, free packaging,

good tracking and quick delivery times

compared to other options.

The U.S. Postal Service is holding

back until June on another set of changes

– “dimensional rating” or DIM Weight.

In this category, a package’s rate will be

calculated differently. These rates now

apply to farther zones 5 through 9 and

are set to take effect across the country.

Numerous sites and articles explain the

upcoming changes and offer suggestions

on how to best prepare for them based on

aspects of retail and commercial shippers.

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