USPS announces 2012 changes

By Freddie Pierce
Postal Service customers will be able ship a box for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs) start...

Postal Service customers will be able ship a box for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs) starting Jan. 22, 2012. That's when the Express Mail Flat Rate Box debuts and new Shipping Services prices take effect.

“The introduction of the Express Mail Flat Rate Box leverages the success of our Priority Mail Flat Rate advertising campaign and further positions the Postal Service as the best value in the shipping business,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer.

The new box, priced at $39.95 for domestic mailing, will be available for customers who need overnight service for items larger than what can be placed in an Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope.

Other Express Mail changes include lower retail prices for half- and one-pound packages and commercial packages to local and close-in areas. The new retail price for the Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope is $18.95.

The overall price change for all Shipping Services is 4.6 percent, with Priority Mail prices increasing an average 3.1 percent and Express Mail prices increasing an average 3.3 percent. New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

  • Small box — $5.35
  • Medium box — $11.35
  • Large box — $15.45
  • Large APO/FPO/DPO box — $13.45
  • Regular envelope — $5.15
  • Legal-size and Padded envelope — $5.30

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Also new for 2012 is Package Intercept for commercial mailers, available through a customer interface on Business Customer Gateway. For $10.95 plus Priority Mail postage, customers can request mail be intercepted before final delivery is attempted to the initial delivery address. The shipment can be returned to sender, held for pick up at a Post Office, or redirected to an alternate address. Intercepted packages are shipped using Priority Mail.

First-Class Package Service (formerly known as First-Class Mail commercial parcels and now a Shipping Services product) will see an overall price increase of 3.7 percent. The Intelligent Mail package barcode will provide free visibility to these parcels.

Prices will also be adjusted for other Shipping Services products and services, including Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, International Mail, Premium Forwarding Service and Post Office Box Service.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes.

Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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