Shipping USPS packages just got more expensive for the holidays. What you should know

A new system-wide USPS plan starting this month includes slowdowns and price hikes.

Angela Lang / CNET

Are you planning to send vacation packages to friends and family this year? You should allow a little more budget to cover shipping costs when using the U.S. Postal Service. That’s because the USPS has just increased the price of shipping packages during the holiday season.

You also need to plan ahead and prepare your gift delivery well in advance. The seasonal price increase – which will last until December 26th – goes hand in hand with it Delivery delays that started earlier this month. The rate hikes and slowdown in premium mail and parcels are part of a decade-long plan to stabilize the Post’s fragile finances.

Earlier this summer, the USPS had raised prices on postage stamps, flat envelopes, media mail, and more. And prices could continue to rise due to the 10-year cost-cutting plan. Prices are likely to be adjusted twice a year in the coming years.

Here’s what you need to know about the temporary price increases on parcel deliveries, including what type of mail the new rules apply to and what to expect in the next year.

How much have the package prices changed with the seasonal increases?

From October 3 through December 25, the US Postal Service will increase the cost of shipping packages from 25 cents to $ 5, depending on the delivery service you choose and the distance the package will travel. Note that this price hike doesn’t apply to letters – the post office just hiked the cost of postage stamps in August (see below for more).

The postal service defines a “package” as anything that is not a postcard, letter, or flat letter (a large envelope, newsletter, or magazine). For example, a box of biscuits would be a package.

Here are the temporary price increases for shipping packages based on the distance the package has traveled and its weight for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground. The distance traveled through Zone 4 is approximately 600 miles, for example from Boston to Richmond, Virginia:

  • 75 cents for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat rate boxes and envelopes.
  • 25 cent increase for zones 1 through 4, 0 to 10 pounds
  • $ 1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 pounds
  • $ 2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 pounds
  • 75 cent increase for zones 5 through 9, 0 to 10 pounds
  • $ 3 increase for zones 5 through 9, 11 to 20 pounds
  • $ 5 increase for Zones 5 through 9, 21 to 70 pounds

Do the higher shipping costs apply to Amazon, UPS, and FedEx deliveries?

The current rate increase only applies to packages sent through the US Post. UPS and FedEx are separate from the postal service. Some Amazon parcels can arrive through the postal service, but Amazon sets these prices. That’s how it’s done track when a package arrives at your doorstep.


Amazon delivery prices are not part of the increase.

Why is USPS Raising Package Holidays Prices?

To close a budget deficit, the service has been taking a series of steps since 2007, overseen by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy – some more controversial than others – to put his finance house in order.

The temporary rate increase is intended to cover the additional processing costs that the Post expects, starting with the first week of October with the increase in holiday-related mail.

Hasn’t the Post increased its tariffs this year?

Yes sir. In August, the Post increased the price of a first class postage stamp from 55 cents to 58 cents. Before that, the last increase was in 2019 when the Post increased the price from 50 to 55 cents. Adjusted for inflation, the price of a postage stamp has hardly changed in the last hundred years.

Could the USPS raise prices again?

Although the postal service calls this price increase temporary during the holiday season, the postal commission sets the prices. According to a September 15 filing for USPS tariff adjustments, there will be no further increase until July 2022. However, the announcement also predicts that the Post will make price changes twice a year in January and July starting in 2023.

For more information, see the policies of the postal service slow down some first class mail. Also, here’s what we know about the next ones Payment of the child tax deduction and which states send Stimulus checks now.

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