USPS Rate Changes - Jan 24th, 2021 | Overview

Shipping carriers routinely update their products, services, and adjust rates. These changes usually occur at the beginning of the year. For 2021, all major carriers have planned rate and service changes.

The USPS is implementing their rate and service changes on January 24, 2021.

The United States Postal Service describes the changes in detail in Docket No. R2021-1 and Docket No. CP2021-15.

How to use this guide:

WHICH USPS SERVICES ARE IMPACTED:

In this guide, we'll help you navigate the changes to USPS services. There is a lot to cover, so we'll focus on the services supported by ShippingEasy.

The 2021 service changes impact the following mail classes and products - scroll down this page for details:

VARIATIONS ACROSS RATE TYPES:

ShippingEasy users access a mix of discounts through their subscription. Learn more about ShippingEasy postage rates.

For a complete picture of the changes, we provide analysis of discount and retail rates. Click through each link to learn more about the rate type:

UNDERSTANDING RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES:

Within each service section below you will find "Rate Change Summary Tables". These tables show how much postage costs will change for specific weights, zones, or package types.

  • Numbers show dollar-value of price change. Ex: '1.00' means a one dollar increase.
  • Numbers in parenthesis show price decrease. Ex: '(0.50)' means a 50 cent decrease.
  • A price range shows the minimum to maximum price change. Ex: '1.00-2.00' means a minimum one dollar to maximum two dollar increase.

To gauge how much shipments are affected, a color-code is overlaid to show the percent (%) change in the rate.

  • Green cells show that the price has decreased.
  • Blues cells show price increases, with darker values indicating greater increases.

% PRICE CHANGE KEY:

(-%) 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10% +

 

First-Class Package Service

USPS First-Class Package Service offers timely and affordable service for light weight packages.

When using a shipping software, such as ShippingEasy, domestic shipments weighing 15.999 ounces or less will qualify. If shipped at a USPS Post Office, parcels may not exceed 13 ounces. International shipments may weigh up to 64 ounces.

Learn more about USPS First Class Package Service.

DOMESTIC SERVICE

As before, First-Class Package Service will continue to use package weight to determine postage costs.

Across all weights and zones, First-Class Package Service will see a rate increase:

  • Commercial rates will increase an average of 13%.
  • Retail rates will increase an average of 9%.

New in 2021, a $100 fee will be assessed on parcels found in the mailstream that exceed the maximum mailable size limit (combined length and girth greater than 130 inches).

ShippingEasy will not apply this charge to your label fee. This charge will be applied by the USPS if a package is found to exceed mailable limits once it has shipped.

First-Class Package Service greatest rate increase will be for lighter weight shipments traveling to further zones. However, First Class Package Service Commercial Rates will continue to allow you to ship up to 15.999 oz packages at low costs whereas Retail Rates only allow you to ship up to 13 oz packages with the service.

Keep in mind, you'll sacrifice speed and insurance protection. When these services matter, it may be worth comparing services for the best value. In particular, Priority Mail's Flat Rate packaging provides good value: faster service cross-country, low rates, and insurance protection.

RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL | First-Class Package Service (domestic)

FIRST-CLASS PACKAGE SERVICE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Weight
(oz)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1 - 4 0.27 - 0.32 0.38 - 0.75 0.75 - 0.75
5 - 8 0.25 - 0.30 0.36 - 0.64 0.64 - 0.64
9 - 12 0.11 - 0.19 0.27 - 0.75 0.75 - 0.75
13 - 15.999 0.15 - 0.23 0.38 - 0.94 0.94 - 0.94

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail Package Service (Commercial) domestic rate tables.

RETAIL | First Class Package Service (domestic)

FIRST-CLASS PACKAGE SERVICE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Weight
(oz)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1-4 0.20 – 0.35 0.40 - 0.65 0.65 - 0.65
5-8 0.20 – 0.30 0.35 – 0.60 0.60 – 0.60
9-12 0.20 - 0.30 0.35 - 0.65 0.65 - 0.65
13 0.35 - 0.50 0.60 - 0.85 0.85

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail Package Service (Retail) domestic rate tables.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

As of January 24, 2021, the USPS will expand their Country Pricing Groups for First Class International Package Service from 9 groups to 20. This is due to the decision made between the USPS and the Universal Postal Union in July 2020 which allowed for countries to increase their costs for exports to the USPS. Creating additional pricing groups is one way the USPS can reduce passing on this increase in costs to shippers.

Previously, country price groups were determined by world region. Now, they are made up of countries that share one price for customers but do not share one price for the USPS. Having more country price groups will allow the USPS to apply a variety of rates for price control, rather than applying one default rate that is determined by the highest-cost country.

First Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International will have 9 individual rate groups, 9 price groups, and 2 country rate groups. For a more specific breakdown of which countries fall into what price groups, see our article about Country Price Groups.

USPS will continue to offer First-Class Package International Service for parcels weighing less than or equal to 64 ounces.

Overall First-Class Package International Service rates will increase an average of 2.79%. Due to the change in country price groups, a direct comparison of rate increases per group cannot be done.

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail Package International Service (Commercial) rate tables.

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail Package International Service (Retail) domestic rate tables.

Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail is a quick, affordable service that strikes the best balance between price and speed.

It's the most versatile service that USPS provides, with a wide selection of Flat Rate and Regional Rate packaging. Custom packaging also has advantages, especially if paired with dimensional rate discounts like ShippingEasy's Flat Rate Green.

Learn more about USPS Priority Mail.

DOMESTIC SERVICE

Priority Mail rates will see an increase across most rate classes:

  • Commercial rates will increase an average of 9.93%.
  • Regional Rate parcels will increase an average of 6%.
  • Retail rates will increase an average of 6.11%.

Priority Mail will continue to offer one of the best values of all USPS services. Though shippers may find it valuable to compare it with other services. When package weight is less than 16 ounces, First-Class Package Service provides a viable alternative. For sturdy parcels under 5 lbs, and when delivery speed isn't critical, you may consider Parcel Select Ground as well. Yet in both cases you'll sacrifice insurance protection against damage.

RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL  | Priority Mail (domestic)

PRIORITY MAIL | FLAT RATE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Dollar Increase by Package Type
Flat Rate Envelopes 0.25
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 0.25
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 0.25
Small Flat Rate Box 0.25
Medium Flat Rate Boxes 0.55
Large Flat Rate Boxes 1.00
APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box 1.00

 

PRIORITY MAIL | WEIGHT-RATE | Commercial Plus Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1 0.11 - 0.14 0.08 - 0.38 2.85
2 0.12 - 0.15 0.09 - 0.5 4.36
3 0.12 - 0.16 0.10 - 0.71 5.92
4 0.13 - 0.16 0.10 - 0.82 7.13
5 0.13 - 0.16 0.73 - 1.06 8.29
6 - 10 0.13 - 0.49 0.14 - 1.89 9.50 - 14.49
11 - 15 0.85 - 1.46 1.69 - 4.99 15.83 - 18.93
16 - 20 1.08 - 1.78 2.25 - 6.44 19.97 - 24.20
21 - 70 1.26 - 4.22 2.63 - 13.66 24.71 - 53.05

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail (Commercial) domestic rate tables.

REGIONAL RATE | Priority Mail (domestic)

PRIORITY MAIL | REGIONAL RATE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Regional
Rate Box
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
A 0.12-0.15 0.09-0.54 4.68
B 0.13-0.16 0.80-1.01 8.60

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate rate tables.

 

RETAIL | Priority Mail (domestic)

PRIORITY MAIL | FLAT RATE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Dollar Increase by Package Type
Flat Rate Envelopes 0.20
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 0.20
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 0.15
Small Flat Rate Box 0.15
Medium Flat Rate Boxes 0.45
Large Flat Rate Boxes 0.80
APO/FPO/DPO Large Flat Rate Box 0.80

 

PRIORITY MAIL | WEIGHT-RATE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1 0.20 - 0.25 0.25 - 0.35 2.80
2 0.15 - 0.30 0.20 - 0.30 4.45
3 0.20 - 0.35 0.25 - 0.40 5.95
4 0.20 - 0.35 0.25 - 0.45 6.9
5 0.20 - 0.4 0.25 - 0.5 7.95
6 - 10 0.45 - 0.80 0.60 - 2.20 9 .00- 13.7
11 - 15 0.60- 1.10 1.15 - 3.00 15.15 - 18.20
16 - 20 0.75 - 1.35 1.65 - 3.75 19.2 - 23.3
21 - 70 0.90- 2.80 1.90 - 8.25 24.00 - 52.65

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail (Retail) domestic rate tables.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

As of January 24, 2021, the USPS will expand their Country Pricing Groups for Priority Mail International from 9 groups to 20. This is due to the decision made between the USPS and the Universal Postal Union in July 2020 which allowed for countries to increase their costs for exports to the USPS. Creating additional pricing groups is one way the USPS can reduce passing on this increase in costs to shippers.

Previously, country price groups were determined by world region. Now, they are made up of countries that share one price for customers but do not share one price for the USPS. Having more country price groups will allow the USPS to apply a variety of rates for price control, rather than applying one default rate that is determined by the highest-cost country.

First Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International will have 9 individual rate groups, 9 price groups, and 2 country rate groups. For a more specific breakdown of which countries fall into what price groups, see our article about Country Price Groups.

Flat Rate Package groups will not change.

For Priority Mail International, rates are still determined by rate class, package weight, and Country Price Group.

Overall Priority Mail International rates will increase an average of 5.1%. Due to the change in country price groups, a direct comparison of rate increases per group cannot be done.

FLAT RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL | Priority Mail International

PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL | FLAT RATE |
Commercial Price Increase ($)
Package
Type
Dollar Increase by Country Price Group
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Flat Rate
Envelopes
1.55 1.65 3.75 0.70 3.05 1.50 3.85 1.40
Small
Flat Rate
Boxes
1.60 1.65 3.85 0.80 3.20 1.55 5.50 1.50
Medium
Flat Rate
Boxes
2.95 3.60 3.70 4.95 3.80 3.25 15.00 3.10
Large
Flat Rate
Boxes
3.80 4.70 4.80 5.75 4.85 4.10 14.90 4.10

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail International (Commercial) rate tables.

RETAIL | Priority Mail International

PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL | FLAT RATE |
Retail Price Increase ($)
Package
Type
Dollar Increase by Country Price Group
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Flat Rate
Envelopes
1.60 1.70 3.95 0.75 3.25 1.55 4.10 1.50
Small
Flat Rate
Boxes
1.65 1.75 4.10 0.80 3.40 1.60 5.80 1.55
Medium
Flat Rate
Boxes
3.10 3.80 3.90 5.25 4.00 3.45 15.75 3.25
Large
Flat Rate
Boxes
4.00 4.95 5.05 6.05 5.15 4.35 15.70 4.30

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail International (Retail) rate tables.

Priority Mail Express

USPS Priority Mail Express is fast and comes with a money-back, on-time delivery guarantee.

It's the quickest, most reliable service, with overnight delivery to most US locations. Even international shipments are guaranteed in 5 or fewer days.

Learn more about USPS Priority Mail Express.

DOMESTIC SERVICE

Priority Mail Express will continue to provide a mix of Flat Rate Envelopes and custom package services. Weight-based rates will also maintain a zone-based pricing structure. Learn more about zones.

Priority Mail Express rates will increase across all package types, weights, and zones:

  • Commercial rates will increase an average of 5% across Zones 1-8. Zone 9 postage will rise about 6%.
  • Retail rates will increase an average of 4% across Zones 1-8. Zone 9 postage will rise about 6%.

When it has to get there on time, it's hard to beat Priority Mail Express. Though if the delivery date is flexible, shippers may save on costs by comparing services. For instance, Priority Mail has a solid record of 1- to 3-day delivery for most domestic locations.

RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL | Priority Mail Express (domestic)

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS | FLAT RATE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Dollar Increase by Package Type
Flat Rate Envelope 0.70
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 0.71
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 0.72

 

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS | WEIGHT-RATE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
0.5 0.70 – 0.80 0.90 - 1.21 5.23
1 0.76 - 1.03 1.18 - 1.48 6.24
2 0.80 - 1.18 1.36 – 1.71 6.95
3 0.85 – 1.40 1.65 - 2.05 8.08
4 0.89 - 1.57 1.95 - 2.41 9.23
5 0.93 – 1.67 2.09 - 2.67 10.25
6 - 10 1.12 - 2.71 2.47 – 4.10 11.46 – 15.30
11 - 15 1.52 - 3.58 3.43 - 5.06 15.80 - 18.92
16 - 20 1.91 – 4.35 4.25 - 6.02 19.55 - 22.47
21 - 70 2.29 - 13.18 5.09 - 17.97 23.31 - 67.06

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail Express (Commercial Plus) domestic rate tables.

RETAIL | Priority Mail Express (domestic)

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS | FLAT RATE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Dollar Increase by Package Type
Flat Rate Envelope 0.80
Legal Flat Rate Envelope 0.80
Padded Flat Rate Envelope 0.80

 

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS | WEIGHT-RATE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
0.5 0.80-0.90 1.35-1.65 6.75
1 0.90-1.25 1.85-2.05 8.10
2 1.00-1.45 2.10-2.40 9.10
3 1.10-1.75 2.65-3.00 10.95
4 1.15-2.00 3.15-3.60 12.55
5 1.25-2.15 3.40-3.95 13.95
6 - 10 1.40-3.30 3.85-5.85 15.40-20.55
11 - 15 2.10-4.75 5.60-7.60 21.55-25.80
16 - 20 2.60-5.65 6.90-8.80 26.65-30.05
21 - 70 3.65-20.45 9.35-30.45 33.10-95.25

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail Express (Retail) domestic rate tables.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

As of January 24, 2021, the USPS will expand their Country Pricing Groups for Priority Mail Express International from 9 groups to 20. This is due to the decision made between the USPS and the Universal Postal Union in July 2020 which allowed for countries to increase their costs for exports to the USPS. Creating additional pricing groups is one way the USPS can reduce passing on this increase in costs to shippers.

Previously, country price groups were determined by world region. Now, they are made up of countries that share one price for customers but do not share one price for the USPS. Having more country price groups will allow the USPS to apply a variety of rates for price control, rather than applying one default rate that is determined by the highest-cost country.

First Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International will have 9 individual rate groups, 9 price groups, and 2 country rate groups. For a more specific breakdown of which countries fall into what price groups, see our article about Country Price Groups.

Priority Mail Express International will continue to offer the choice of a Flat Rate Envelope or weight-based services.

Flat Rate Package groups will not change.

Overall Priority Mail Express International rates will increase an average of 3.6%. Due to the change in country price groups, a direct comparison of rate increases per group cannot be done.

FLAT RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL | Priority Mail Express International

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL | FLAT RATE | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Package
Type
Dollar Increase by Country Price Group
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Flat Rate
Envelopes
1.45 0.00 1.20 0.60 1.80 1.90 2.10 1.25

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail Express International (Commercial Plus) rate tables.

RETAIL | Priority Mail Express International

PRIORITY MAIL EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL | FLAT RATE | Retail Price Increase ($)
Package
Type
Dollar Increase by Country Price Group
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Flat Rate
Envelopes
1.50 2.10 1.90 2.30 2.55 1.00 2.00 2.90

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Priority Mail Express International (Retail) rate tables.

Parcel Select Ground & Retail Ground

USPS Parcel Select Ground, available as Retail Ground at the Post Office counter, is relatively inexpensive yet slow. It's particularly well suited for shipping items that are prohibited from air transport. Although, it's also suitable for some weights and zones when cost is favored over speed.

Learn more about USPS Parcel Select Ground.

Postage costs will continue to be based on package weight and zone. Learn more about zones.

Parcel Select Ground rates will increase an average of 5%.

Retail Ground rates will increase an average of 3.9%. Consumers of USPS Retail Ground can cut costs by adopting an online shipping solution, such as ShippingEasy.

Parcel Select Ground carries a price advantage for shipments less than 5 lbs or traveling short distances. Though this service doesn't include insurance. So if shipments are heavy or if timely delivery is important, it's worth comparing value with Priority Mail.

RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

COMMERCIAL | Parcel Select Ground

PARCEL SELECT GROUND | Commercial Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1 0.06 - 0.08 (0.02) - 0.07 0.03
2 0.02 - 0.05 (0.10) - 0.00 (0.10)
3 (0.03) - 0.01 (0.34) - (0.05) (0.34)
4 (0.02) - 0.01 (0.23) - (0.01) (0.23)
5 (0.02) - 0.01 (0.10) - 0.91 (0.10)
6-10 (0.02) - 0.18 (0.16) - 0.44 (0.16) - 0.22
11-15 0.45 - 1.06 0.99 - 2.41 0.99 - 1.72
16-20 0.68 - 1.38 (0.15) - 2.6 (0.15) - 1.40
21-70 0.86 - 3.82 0.67 - 9.12 0.68 - 6.68

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Parcel Select Ground rate table.

RETAIL | Ground

RETAIL GROUND | Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)
Dollar Increase by Zone
Local - 4 5 - 8 9
1 0.20 - 0.25 0.20 - 0.30 0.20
2 0.15 - 0.30 0.15 - 0.20 0.20
3 0.20 - 0.35 0.25 - 0.25 0.25
4 0.20 - 0.35 0.10 - 0.30 0.10
5 0.20 - 0.40 0.25 - 0.45 0.45
6-10 0.45 - 0.80 0.55 - 1.45 1.00 - 1.45
11-15 0.60 - 1.10 1.00 - 1.85 1.65 - 1.85
16-20 0.75 - 1.35 1.30 - 2.40 2.05 - 2.40
21-70 0.90 - 2.80 1.50 - 5.20 2.45 - 5.20

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Retail Ground (Retail) rate table.

First-Class Mail Flats

USPS First-Class Mail service for Large Envelopes / Flats is a very low-cost method to send envelopes.

Delivery can often be expected within 1- to 3-days. Parcels must meet the definition of a "Large Envelope" or "Flat" as well. Learn more about USPS First-Class Mail Large Envelope / Flats.

There is only one rate type - Retail pricing - whether postage is purchased through the Post Office or an online shipping solution

DOMESTIC SERVICE

Postage costs for First-Class Mail Large Envelopes / Flats is determined by package weight.

As of January 24, 2021 there are no changes to First-Class Mail International Flats postage rates.

The price of First-Class Mail for Large Envelopes / Flats cannot be beat. Although it comes at the cost of additional services. When tracking or insurance protection is important, compare the value of First-Class Package Service and Priority Mail.

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail Flats (Retail) rate table.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

As of January 24, 2021 there are no changes to First-Class Mail International Flats postage rates. Postage costs for First-Class Mail International Large Envelopes / Flats will continue to be based on weight and Country Price Group.

View 2021 USPS First-Class Mail International Flats (Retail) rate table.

Media Mail

USPS Media Mail is a specialty service that provides low cost shipping for books and educational materials.

The USPS has strict guidelines for Media Mail. So be sure to check the rules before selecting this service. If your shipments qualify, you can expect delivery within 2- to 8-days for much less money than other services.

Learn more about USPS Media Mail.

Media Mail postage cost is determined by package weight. Also, there is only one rate type - Retail pricing - for this service.

Media Mail rates are increasing an average of 4%.

When shipping educational materials and books, the price of Media Mail can't be beat. Though if speed is important, consider the value of Priority Mail.

RATE CHANGE SUMMARY TABLES

RETAIL | Media Mail

MEDIA MAIL | Retail Price Increase ($)
Weight
(lbs)

Dollar Increase

1 0.09
2 0.12
3 0.15
4 0.18
5 0.21
6 - 10 0.24 - 0.33
11 - 15 0.35 - 0.43
16 - 20 0.45 - 0.53
21 - 70 0.55 - 1.53

What does this table mean?

View 2021 USPS Media Mail (Retail) rate table.

Special Services

USPS offers several value-added confirmation options that require signature upon delivery.

Signature Confirmation requires the carrier to get a signature from the individual who accepts the package. The price of this service is increasing 5 cents. Signature Confirmation will cost $2.70 through online shipping solutions.

Adult Signature Confirmation requires a signature from an individual who is at least 21 years old. The price of this service is increasing 25 cents. Adult Signature Confirmation will cost $6.90 through online shipping solutions.

Other Services

The January 2021 rate change impact on other services.

FIRST-CLASS MAIL:

The retail price for a First-Class Mail letter and Postcard stamp is not changing.

CONSOLIDATOR SERVICES:

The USPS is also updating the rates which will impact shipping consolidators. For instance, Parcel Select, Global Express Guaranteed, IPA and ISAL rates are increasing. Shippers who use consolidator services should ask their carrier how rates are changing. Details can also be found in USPS' Docket No. CP2021-3.

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