What the 2014 USPS Pricing Changes for Shipping Services Means to Retailers
Package Return Services
- Average increase of 3 percent;
- It's notable that there's a significantly higher increase for retrieving packages deeper into the package stream (e.g., RDU increased 5.7 percent)
- There are several programs available directly from the Post Office and now you can also leverage scan-based payment from a third-party discounted program that can leverage NSA discounted outbound rates for the return trip. Savings up to $2.00 per package is common.
First Class Package Services (Parcels)
- Remains the best value for under one pound
- No change for CPP pricing, primarily used for 14-ounce through 16-ounce parcels
- Base pricing increase of, on average, 4.7 percent, but only 1.5 percent for the more common weights.
- GXG Average increase of 3 percent
- PMEI (Priority Mail Express) saw a 1.3 percent increase
- PMI (Priority Mail International) rates increased 1 percent (both PMEI and PMI offering new flat rate options)
- IPA (International Parcel Airmail) decreased 2.5 percent
- ISAL (International Surface Air Lift) decreased 2.9 percent
- IPA and ISAL notables:
o Direct country minimum reduced to two pounds
o Flats minimum weight reduced to 17.6 ounces
o Package minimum weight increased to 4.4 pounds
o 14 or 20 rate groups now include shape-based pricing
o Permanently suspend service to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria
- Airmail M-Bags increased 2.9 percent
- FCPIS (First Class Package International Service): retail increased .8 percent, while there was no change for base (up to 14 percent lower than retail) or plus (up to 20 percent lower than retail).
Shippers who are smart enough to use the USPS should feel good with their decision as their savings will increase this year compared with the alternatives. Savvy transportation directors will continue to explore the many options to reduce their parcel spend while improving the customer experience.