USPS Planned-Peak Season Pricing Goes Into Effect
Last updated 10/22/2021 at 10:48am
Time to plan out your holiday cards, packages or any other things you’d like mailed out, as the United States Postal Service has made some changes. Although temporary, it is effective during one of the most busy and crucial times of the year.
On Oct. 1, the U.S. Postal Service began implementing service changes that impact the delivery time of some first-class mail and periodicals, and package shipments will be more expensive.
This planned-peak season pricing was approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on Aug. 5. No structural changes are planned as part of this limited pricing initiative.
First-class and periodical mail traveling distances of more than 930 miles will be impacted the most. The USPS says 61% of first-class mail and 93% of periodicals will be unaffected. First-class mail consists of postcards, letters, envelopes and other lightweight packages. Periodical mail consists of magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Until Dec. 26, the Postal Service will temporarily increase the cost of all domestic package shipments, including those from retailers, for the 2021 peak holiday season.
These changes will affect prices on Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Return Service. The increases vary based on service and distance, with Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat rates going up $.75 and some parcel and package services rising by up to $5. Retail and commercial shipping for First-Class Package Service will increase $.30.
The move is part of the agency’s 10-year plan intended to improve service and achieve financial sustainability. The 10-year plan aims to reverse a projected $160 billion in losses over the next 10 years. The first-class mail three-day service targets have not been met in the last eight years.
An overreliance on air travel, which can be inconsistent and is more expensive than on-ground transportation, has impacted delivery time, the USPS said. The new delivery standards will rely more on ground transportation.
The USPS said these changes will meet or exceed delivery standards 95% of the time.
Currently, the delivery standard for first-class and periodical mail is within three days for any destination within the U.S. With the service changes, delivery time will be up to five days, depending on how far away the mail’s destination is.
For a destination less than 140 miles away from the mail’s origin, delivery will take two days. For mail traveling between 140 miles and 930 miles, delivery will take three days. Mail traveling from 931 miles up to 1,907 miles will be delivered in four days, and mail traveling more than 1,908 miles will be delivered in five days.
The planned price changes include:
Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground:
$0.75 increase for PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes.
$0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs.
$0.75 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs.
$1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs.
$3.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs.
$2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs.
$5.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs.
For those in Borrego Springs, the Post Office will take UPS ground only, as long as the packages are not too big, as space is limited. This is not for regular business use. They have also stopped taking FedEx packages.