Welcome to our United States Postal Service Updates blog, your guide to the changing postal scene. Here, we’ll share the latest news and rate updates from the USPS. Dive in as we break down the 2024 updates. 

January 2024 Service Changes

Stamps.com has been informed of the recent USPS announcement which recommends postage rates increase for select First-Class Mail services on July 14, 2024. We will alert you of these and any other changes as new details become available. At this time, our current postage stamp rate remains at 64 cents.

New Mailing Technology Requirements from USPS

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is implementing a new technology standard called Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) to modernize its mailing system.

What is IMI and why is it required?

IMI replaces the older technology and provides the USPS with more detailed and real-time data on your mailings. This translates to a smoother and more efficient mailing experience for everyone. Upgrading offers several benefits:

  • Reduced costs: Eliminates the need to guesstimate postage, preventing overspending and returns.
  • Improved cash flow: Detailed transaction data makes it easier to track refunds and reimbursements.
  • Always up-to-date: Your system automatically receives the latest postage rates and service information.
  • Enhanced security: Robust security features protect your data.
  • Increased efficiency: IMI streamlines mail processing for the USPS, potentially leading to faster deliveries.

What does this mean for you?

The good news is, you don’t need to take any action. Stamps is already working diligently behind the scenes to ensure our technology is fully compliant with IMI by December 2024.  As an approved USPS partner, we’ll make sure your mailing operation continues to run smoothly without interruption.

January 2024 Service Changes

Effective January 21st, the USPS is rolling out changes to its shipping rates, which will impact various services and package categories. Stamps remains committed to delivering top-notch service to its customers and is happy to announce that, through our partnership with USPS, customers can now enjoy enhanced discounts on Priority Mail® and Ground Advantage Rates™ compared to Commercial Plus rates.

Here’s an overview of the modifications and how they might impact your shipping and mailing strategies.

Ground Advantage™

  • Ground Advantage™ under 1 pound: Up to 6.6% off
  • Ground Advantage™ over 1 pound: Up to 25.1% off
  • Ground Advantage™ Cubic: Up to 21.2% off

As a reminder, Ground Advantage™ was introduced in July of 2023. This service combines USPS Retail Ground, USPS Parcel Select Ground, and USPS First Class Package Services. The January 21st changes will apply to all weights, zones, and cubic dimensions over 12 ounces using Ground Advantage™.

Priority Mail®

  • Priority Mail 6-10 pounds: Up to 12% off
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate: Up to 2.5% off
  • Priority Mail Cubic: Up to 15.8% off

So where will you see the biggest changes? The short answer: it depends. Exact rates will vary depending on the package details and how far it’s traveling. As always, we recommend comparing rates and services to find the best option for your business. 

Mailing Services

The cost of sending a 1 oz. First Class Mail letter will increase from 66 cents to 68 cents. However, if you use Stamps.com, the Metered Mail rate for the same letter will only go up from 63 cents to 64 cents, saving you $0.04 compared to the retail rate.

USPS Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Label Changes

While the primary focus of this rate adjustment is on shipping rates, it’s crucial to be aware of unrelated changes to HAZMAT labels. Starting January 21st, USPS is enhancing safety measures for handling dangerous goods shipments. The HAZMAT labels will now feature an oversized letter “H” in the corner, the addition of 2D barcodes, and the inclusion of the word “HAZMAT” after “USPS TRACKING #.” Shippers need not take any specific action other than selecting hazardous goods under special services when printing a label when a shipment contains hazardous materials. For more information check out our HAZMAT updates blogs.

Insurance Rate Updates

In addition to the rate adjustments, Stamps.com users should be aware of an increase in their insurance rates. However, depending on your service plan, you could enjoy discounts ranging from 10% to 40% compared to USPS insurance rates.

Enhance Your Efficiency

Despite these changes, Stamps.com continues to offer substantial savings on shipping costs, with discounts of up to 89%* through its partnership with USPS and other carriers. We aim to streamline your shipping and mailing operations, providing discounted rates for a smooth sending process.

As the shipping landscape evolves, staying informed about rate changes and adjusting your strategy accordingly can contribute to a more efficient and cost-effective shipping experience. Keep these insights in mind as you navigate the 2024 USPS shipping rate adjustments. For more information check out our help center article.

*Rates are limited to shipping from the continental U.S. only. These rates and discounts exclude shipment origins from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.

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