The USPS recently announced its proposed rate changes for 2020. The Priority Mail rates are going up but there are 3 ways that your business can save:
Priority Mail is one of the most popular shipping services from the USPS. It offers flat rate options and delivers your packages in 1, 2, or 3 business days—including Saturdays!
On October 9, the USPS announced proposed changes to their mailing and shipping rates and if approved by the Postal Regulatory Committee (PRC), these changes will go into effect on January 26, 2020.
This year Priority Mail is going up an average of 4.1%, this is slightly more than last year’s average 3.9% increase. These prices are adjusted to market conditions and are meant to compete with the UPS®, FedEx®, and other major carriers.
The retail cost of USPS® Priority Mail will range in 2020 from $7.50-$264 and it is determined by the weight of the package and the distance it is traveling. For example, a 1 lb. package going to Zone 1 can cost as low as $7.50. However, a 20 lb. package that is going to Zone 9 can cost as much as $117 dollars. But don’t panic, the USPS has a great option for heavy items and shippers who are sending items long distances—flat rate boxes!
With flat rate boxes, no weighing or calculating is needed. You are charged one flat rate to send an item, and it isn’t based on weight or distance. So those heavy items that would cost $117 dollars can cost as little as $8.30 using a small flat rate box! For the full list of flat rate box options and prices for 2020, see the chart below.
Now that you know the new shipping rates what can you do to mitigate the costs? There are three steps that your business can take to be sure that you aren't spending more than you need to and that you are qualifying for all the discounts your company can get.
Step 1: Rate Shopping
Rate shopping is when you compare different carriers and services so that you can see your options and make the best decision for your business. This visibility to different services and carriers helps businesses better control what they spend on shipping and gives them more opportunities to save. Right now if you are only shipping with one carrier you don’t know what other options are available, one of the other major carriers might provide faster or less expensive service for what you are sending.
How Do I Start Rate Shopping?
Some businesses that only ship a handful of times a year may rate shop on their own by going to different carrier websites and seeing what services and prices are available. However, if you are a regular or semi-regular shipper this manual process might become too tiresome and time-consuming. You want a quick and convenient way to make comparisons and multi-carrier shipping software is the answer. Multi-carrier shipping software usually can be uploaded right to your desktop and links with a scale so that you can easily weigh items and get different carrier and service options. To learn more about different multi-carrier shipping options contact your Quadient rep or if you prefer to do the research on your own check out our shipping section with our full range of shipping options.
Step 2: Get Commercial Rates
If you are shipping more than fifty packages a year you may already know about commercial shipping rates with the USPS. These discounted shipping rates are available to all businesses big and small and they can reduce your shipping costs with the USPS in 2019 by up to 40%. Businesses can get these shipping rates by barcoding their parcels with shipping software. It sounds complex but all you need is shipping software like NeoShip added to your postage meter and a printer. These barcodes transmit information to the USPS so that they can transmit your packages more efficiently and they allow you to easily track your packages online.
Step 3: Use Flat Rate Boxes
Flat Rate Boxes charge one flat rate no matter what you are shipping..."If it fits, it ships!" Using flat rate shipping options can save your business as much as 50% on shipping costs compared to the other major carriers' rates. Flat rate boxes are available for two USPS services: Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. Priority Mail is a 1, 2, or 3-day service and Priority Mail Express is a guaranteed overnight delivery service. Flat rate boxes can be picked up at your local Post Office™ or ordered online—both for $0! If you have the boxes readily available your employees and colleagues are more likely to use them. Convenience is key!
To get more rate change information you can read our full breakdown of the USPS Rate Change here. To learn more about NeoShip shipping software talk to a Quadient representative today!