To offset the increased expense of deliveries during the busiest time of the year, the United States Postal Service proposes to charge extra for parcels mailed over the holidays, including those sent by individuals. The USPS suggested surcharges on most domestic items shipped between October 3 and December 26, stating that the levies would apply to both business and retail consumers. That means Inc., Target Corp., and other major Christmas shippers won’t be the only ones paying higher-than-normal costs. The increased prices, which range from 25 cents for tiny goods to $5 for heavy items going longer distances, are in accordance with industry-wide standards of charging extra during the holiday season, according to the USPS.

“These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges similar to levels experienced in 2020,” the agency said in announcing the proposal.

Retailers are facing a number of obstacles as the holidays approach, including traffic bottlenecks at seaports, supply-chain interruptions, and increasing material and labor expenses, all of which are making it more difficult and costly to stock their shelves. The recent increase in Covid-19 cases, fueled by the spread of the highly transmissible Delta form, adds to the uncertainty. Last year, the Postal Service implemented its first holiday fees on packages, but primarily for commercial customers such as shops and large shippers. During the holidays, the agency functioned as a safety valve for many shippers, as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. imposed strict shipping limitations on their clients, while other regional carriers struggled. During the holidays, FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. kept their clients to strict shipment caps while other regional carriers ran out of capacity, and the agency served as a safety valve for several shippers. Even as the rise of parcels strained the network, the surcharges allowed the Postal Service to scrape out a little profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

During the epidemic, surcharges have become an unavoidable part of delivery rates. Since last year, both FedEx and UPS have adopted surcharges and hiked base rates to mitigate costs associated with the significant increase in items shipped over the previous year. Even the GlobalPost domestic product will be affected by the additional surcharges. Our First-Class and Parcel Select products use the USPS for last-mile delivery.

USPS International services are unimpacted by the price change and rates will remain steady through the rest of the calendar year as will the GlobalPost International Services. GlobalPost domestic services where USPS is used for shipping will be subject to increases based on the USPS peak surcharges.
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