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Image for article titled The USPS ‘Holiday Season’ Just Got Longer and More Expensive

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While we slog through the dog days of summer, the holiday season seems like it’s eons away. However, if you plan on sending holiday packages through the U.S. Postal Service this winter, it pays to think this far ahead. The U.S. Postal Service has announced their planned peak-season pricing.

Their statement explains that “this temporary rate adjustment is similar to ones in past years that help cover extra handling costs” that come with peak holiday package-sending. Similar price increases were instituted in 2020 and 2021. Here’s what you need to know about how much more you can expect to pay if you want to send a package through USPS in the coming months.

How much more will it cost to send packages this holiday season?

First off, the biggest change you can expect this year is how USPS defines “peak season.” After the Postal Regulatory Commission grants their approval (which is expected), the price surges will go into effect starting Oct. 2 and will last until Jan. 22. This length of time is notable; in 2020 and 2021, these surcharges ended Dec. 26.

Here’s an overview of how much the prices will increase percentage-wise:

  • Priority Mail Express (PME) will see an average rate increase of 2.2%.
  • Priority Mail (PM) will see an average rate increase of 6.3%.
  • First-Class Package Service (FCPS) will see an average rate increase of 8%.
  • Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground will see an average rate increase of 6.2%.

In practice, that means the prices for packages shipped via Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail could increase by anywhere from 25 cents to more than $6. And both commercial and retail deliveries will be affected. Commercial PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes will increase by 75 cents; retail PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes will increase by 95 cents.

See the full list of planned price changes here. You can also get a specific number for the cost of shipping your package any time of year with the post office’s pricing calculator.

These price changes are of a 10-year postal service reorganization plan called Delivering for America, which aims to make the organization “self-sustaining and high performing.” While USPS has yet to announce anything about expected delays during peak season, here’s our guide to planning for slower mail service—just in case.


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