Flat Rate

USPS Rates Challenge Fed Ex & UPS

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Small businesses that have relied on FedEx and UPS for their shipping needs, may rethink using the original shipping company, the United States Postal Service (USPS). The company offers several shipping options and special flat and regional rates that specifically target small businesses.

Most recently, the USPS unveiled its newest addition, the Express Mail Flat Rate Box which debuted on January 22, 2012. This box is for customers who need overnight service for items larger than a flat envelope. Express Mail Flat Rate Boxes ship up to 70-pounds overnight anywhere in the country for a flat rate of $39.95.

“The introduction of the Express Mail Flat Rate Box leverages the success of our Priority Mail Flat Rate advertising campaign and further positions the Postal Service as the best value in the shipping business,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing / sales officer.

The Express Mail Flat Rate Box is the same size as the medium Priority Mail Flat Rate Box, which also charges a standard, set price but for 2 - 3 day shipping. Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes include six sizes, from a regular envelope to a large box.

What’s more, the new Express Mail Flat Rate Box ships 365-days a year with no Saturday delivery charges, residential surcharges or fuel surcharges. Sunday and holiday delivery is available to many ZIP codes for an extra premium. The Express Mail Flat Rate Boxes can also be used for international shipments with a maximum weight of 20 pounds. The cost is $59.95 to Canada and $74.95 for all other countries that accept Express Mail International. 

Priority Mail Regional Rates are set to maximize the value of short-distance shipping. One rate per zone is charged based on 15-, 20- and 25-pound top- and sideloading boxes. The closer the destination is, the cheaper it ships.

For example, it would cost $5.04 to locally ship a Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A, with a maximum weight of 15 pounds, and it would cost $7.26 to ship the same box four zones away. A U.S. Postal Zones chart is available at http://postcalc.usps.gov/ Zonecharts/. The price of the halfand one-pound packages and commercial packages to local and close-in areas is now lower. The Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope and Legal Envelope is $18.95. 

The USPS hopes its new Priority and Express options and prices will give small businesses an edge in shipping. With flat rates, businesses won’t waste time weighing packages. The USPS is also the only carrier that does not charge extra for Saturday delivery and can service post office boxes. It ships to military destinations and is insured.

Tracking abilities are improved and the USPS now shows six key data points, with the promise of more in the future. The USPS also offers free delivery confirmation, free supplies to your business’ door, free package pickup, mobile applications, nearby service at the Post Office, eco-friendly packaging and return options.

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