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Is Your Magento Business Prepared for the 2019 USPS Rates?

March 4, 2019
Guest Post
Michelle McNamara
Head of Content @Shippo

Michelle McNamara is the head of content at Shippo, an easy-to-use shipping software that helps businesses print shipping labels, create return labels, track packages, and much more. You can find all of Michelle’s tips for online retailers on Shippo’s ecommerce and shipping blog.

The U.S. Postal Service rate changes went into effect in early 2019. To help you make sense of how these changes impact your ecommerce business, the team at Shippo, analyzed and compared the new rate structure and provided recommendations for merchants.  

Shippo is a cloud-based shipping software that helps ecommerce operators to access deeply-discounted USPS postage rates, compare rates across carriers, and ship from multiple carriers at once, all in one easy-to-use dashboard.

To read Shippo’s very own Marc Mastrocola’s deep-dive into the numbers click here: 2019 USPS postage rate analysis. But to make a long story short, here is what Magento store operators need to know to continue to get the most affordable rates in 2019.

USPS Priority Mail Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) rates are now the same as Commercial Base Pricing (CBP).

For background, many ecommerce merchants use Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP) and Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) rates through a shipping software provider like Shippo. This year, USPS streamlined shipping fees so that all CBP and CPP users will get the same rates. No matter which USPS shipping software you use, CPP prices will now be the same as CBP.

USPS Priority Mail is popular with many online retailers because packages arrive within 1-3 business days, include USPS Tracking, and insurance up to $50.

Here’s a sampling of the 2019 USPS Priority Mail rates for all Commercial users accessible via Shippo.

2019 USPS Priority Mail Rates for Magento from Shippo

USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS) is now zone-based pricing.

If you’re looking to ship a package under one pound, consider USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS) as it’s the most cost-effective option for lightweight shipments.

This year, USPS FCPS changed to zone-based pricing, which means the shipping cost will now vary based on the distance the package travels. The pricing for packages shipped via Zones 1 and 2 are close to the same as 2018 rates. The rates go up beyond Zone 2, making it more expensive to send products longer distances.

Overall, USPS FCPS is still a great option for lightweight items, especially when compared to FedEx and UPS. Here are the new 2019 USPS FCPS rates.

2019 USPS First Class Package Rates for Magento from Shippo

Turning the Spotlight on USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes

Most people know that USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are a great option for smaller items weighing less than 20 pounds and traveling long distances in the U.S.

USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes, however, are one of the Postal Service’s best-kept secrets. Although Regional Rate Boxes don’t get as much attention as their sister service level (USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate), they operate much in the same way. If you want to use this service level, you have to ship using one of the USPS-provided Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes. These can be found at no cost here.

Regional Rate Boxes exceeding the maximum weight limit or with container flaps that don’t close properly are assessed the applicable Priority Mail prices. Regional Rate Box options include:

– Box A: (Side loading or top loading box), with a maximum weight limit of 15 pounds.

– Box B: (Side loading or top loading box), with a maximum weight limit of 20 pounds.

Here are the 2019 USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A and B prices.

2019 USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A and B Rates for Magento from Shippo

In our analysis, we found the Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A prices to be more affordable than Priority Mail starting at the 3-pound package weight mark (except for Zones 1 and 2, where the threshold is 4 pounds). If your product will fit in the box, you should strongly consider this option.

Here’s a chart comparing Shippo’s USPS Priority Mail rates with our USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A prices. The Regional Rate Box A is a competitive option for any package that falls in the yellow cell. Keep in mind your product needs to fit in the dimensions of the boxes and you need to use the free USPS boxes.

2019 USPS Priority Mail vs Regional Rate Box A Prices for Magento from Shippo

We found the Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B to be more affordable than Priority Mail starting at the 6 or 7-pound package mark, depending on the Zone. Again, if you are shipping a heavy item and it fits in the box, this is a great option for you.

Here’s a chart comparing Shippo’s USPS Priority Mail rates with our Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B prices. Just like above, the Regional Rate Box B is a competitive option for any package that falls in the yellow cell.

2019 USPS Priority Mail vs Regional Rate Box B Prices for Magento from Shippo

While many of the 2019 USPS postage rates have changed from last year, the increased rates are oftentimes more affordable than the UPS or FedEx alternatives. We recommend using a shipping software like Shippo to gain access to deeply-discounted USPS postage rates, compare rates across carriers, and ship from multiple carriers at once, all in one dashboard.

Sign up for Shippo to access these rates for your business.  

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