2018 USPS Postage Price Change: What it Means For Our Customers

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The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) recently approved the proposed U.S. Postal Service price changes for 2018, with the new pricing becoming effective as of Jan. 21, 2018.

This means that ecommerce businesses that ship via USPS – such as Alpha Concealment Systems – have already seen an increase in shipping rates this year. Here is a breakdown of the USPS price changes for Priority Flat-Rate Mail:

Both UPS and FedEx have also announced price hikes for 2018 – 4.9 percent for both – ensuring that online retailers will be subject to an increase in shipping costs regardless of which shipping carrier they choose. 

Here is the breakdown of the 2018 pricing for FedEx Ground and Home Delivery service:

Here is the breakdown of the 2018 pricing for UPS Ground service: 

In late 2017, UPS also announced new surcharges – up to $.97 - to be added to any residential shipments sent during the peak seasons surrounding Black Friday and Christmas. These surcharges are to be paid on top of the increased pricing.

Comparing Shipping Carriers

Despite the fact that some USPS shipping rate changes may at first glance seem drastic, in our case, the USPS is still the best value for shipping lighter-weight packages - these USPS parcel options are cheaper than UPS or FedEx. In some rare instances, large, heavy parcels may not be the cheapest via USPS depending on the shipping location, but since we offer a flat-rate shipping fee on all orders, ecommerce customers whose orders fall into this category are not affected. 

USPS Priority Mail also still provides the fastest delivery speeds – one to three days, depending on location – whereas other carriers can take up to five days.

If we were to change our shipping carrier to either UPS or FedEx, we would have to cease offering flat-rate shipping, and customers would see a shipping cost of $8.36 at minimum (plus handling fees), with some customers seeing a cost as high as $10.98 (plus handling fees) depending on location. Packages weighing more than 2 pounds would cost customers even more to ship.

We chose to instead stick with the most affordable and efficient shipping method, and change our fee accordingly.

What does this mean for Alpha Concealment Systems’ customers?

Effective Feb. 14, 2018, our flat-rate shipping fee will increase to $8. This marks a $1 increase since 2016, as our shipping fee remained unchanged in 2017. This fee covers all shipping and handling costs.

Packages will maintain the same delivery speeds – one to three days, depending on location – and upgrades to Overnight Express mail will continue to be available at an additional cost to customers who need faster delivery. Packages will also continue to include tracking and insurance. Customers who wish to add a sign-on-delivery notice to their package can still do so, at an additional price of $3. 

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