New flat-rate products debut Jan. 2 along with new prices for Priority Mail, Express Mail and other Shipping Services changes. The overall price change for all Shipping Services products, which are adjusted each January, is 3.6 percent.
Extending the popularity of Priority Mail Flat Rate products, a new legal-size flat-rate envelope measuring 15-by-9.5 inches and a padded flat-rate envelope measuring 12.5-by-9.5 inches, both priced at $4.95, will be available Jan. 2. All six types of Priority Mail Flat Rate envelopes will be priced the same as the regular Priority Mail Envelope (12.5-by-9.5 inches) at $4.95, including the Gift Card Flat Rate Envelope, Window Flat Rate Envelope, and the Small Flat Rate Envelope.
Pricing for the Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope will remain unchanged at $18.30, and will be joined by a new Express Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelope (15-by-9.5 inches) offered at that same price.
In addition to an overall price change of 3.5 percent for Priority Mail, new prices for Express Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International, Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service also take effect Jan. 2.
The popular Hold For Pickup service option — currently available for Express Mail only — is now extended to Priority Mail and First-Class Mail commercial parcels. Packages with the Hold For Pickup endorsement are shipped directly to a Post Office instead of being left at a recipient’s address. Packages are then held at the Post Office until picked up, anytime during office hours, at a time convenient for the recipient.
And, for Commercial Base and Commercial Plus customers mailing regionally, a new Priority Mail Regional Rate Box — available in two sizes — offers zone-based pricing with the “If it Fits it Ships” concept. Volume thresholds for Commercial Plus customers also have been reduced.
Also available to Commercial Plus customers is another innovative product offering — Critical Mail. Critical Mail, a category of Priority Mail with First-Class Mail service standards, requires using USPS-supplied envelopes at a mailing cost of $3.50 for letters and $4.25 for larger, flat-size pieces.