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Nov. 2, 2010




A host of new flat-rate product innovations will be ushered in with the new year when prices for Priority Mail, Express Mail and other Shipping Services change Jan. 2, 2011. The overall price change for all Shipping Services products, which are adjusted each January, is 3.6 percent.

Extending the popularity of its Priority Mail Flat Rate products, the Postal Service next year will introduce a 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. 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, but will be joined by a new Express Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelope (15-by-9.5 inches) at the 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 will be effective Jan. 2.

The popular Hold For Pickup service option — currently available for Express Mail only — will be extended to Priority Mail and First-Class Mail commercial parcels in the new year. 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 Delivery Confirmation included in the price, is ideal for shipping sensitive documents, such as event tickets, identification cards and high-value direct mail. Critical Mail offeres fast, consistent time-in-transit service and requires use of a Postal Service-supplied envelope. Costs are $3.50 for letters and $4.25 for larger, flat-size pieces.

Click here for a complete listing of 2011 prices. The new prices and product innovations are pending Postal Regulatory Commission review.



WASHINGTON — Volume discounts and free additional weight are included in proposed mailing standards changes the U.S. Postal Service filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today. These were originally filed with the price changes proposed in July.

  • Reply Rides Free encourages the inclusion of marketing messages in bill and statement mailings, and payment of bills using the mail. For qualifying customers, a 1.2-ounce piece is charged the 1-ounce price if a reply envelope or card is included in the mailing.
  • The Saturation Mail/High Density Incentive Program provides rebates for volume growth over 5 percent for frequent mailers of Saturation or High Density Standard Mail letters and flats.

Proposed changes also include a small increase in the threshold below which the Move Update assessment charge applies. If approved by the PRC, the measures outlined in the filing take effect Jan. 2, 2011.

“Innovations like the Reply Rides Free and Saturation Mail incentive programs reinforce the value of mail, help retain volume, and provide opportunities to grow the business,” says Paul Vogel, president, Mailing and Shipping Services.

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

More detailed information on the filing will soon be available online at



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