Postage, Shipping Costs to Rise

17 Jan

It’s going to cost a little bit more to mail that letter or ship that package this year, say industry sources.

The cost of a standard, first class stamp will increase by one cent, from $.45 to $.46, on January 27, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service reports. This will be the second year in a row that the cost of stamps have risen by one cent.

The Postal Service urges people to buy Forever Stamps at $.45 cents per stamp before the price change. Forever Stamps will also rise to $.46 on January 27. Once bought, the Forever Stamps can be used indefinitely and will remain applicable for one-ounce letters, even when postage rates rise.

Global Forever stamp

2013 Global Forever stamp

A new Global Forever Stamp will also be available for consumers. With these stamps, any letter can be shipped anywhere overseas for the flat rate of $1.10.

Other services that have also increased rates, according to, include:

  • A one cent increase to $0.33 cents from $0.32 cents for postcards
  • Express Mail will increase an average of 5.9 percent
  • Priority Mail prices will increase an average of 6.3 percent. Online discounted rates will increase 3.7 percent
  • Rates for First Class Package Service will see an average increase of 3 percent
  • Parcel Post (renamed Standard Post) will increase an average of 6.3 percent
  • Parcel Select will increase an average of 9 percent
  • Certified Mail will increase by 5.1 percent

For presorted mail, the increase will depend on the class and category of mail as well as the presort concentration. As shown below, rates for these classes will increase from 0.5 – 5%.

First Class Presort Letters will increase 1.5 – 2.8%
First Class Presort Flats will increase 1.3 – 3.5%
Standard (Bulk) Letters will increase 2 – 3%
Standard (Bulk) Flats will increase 1 – 4%
Non-Profit Letters will increase 2 – 3.5%
Non-Profit Flats will increase 0.5 – 5%

FedEx and UPS also announced rate increases for 2013. According to Internet Retailer, the average cost for ground shipments and home deliveries increased approximately 4.9% across the board for standard ground shipments.

At FedEx, the rate hike took effect January 7th and the 4.9% percent increase covered shipments of parcels weighing up to 150 pounds through FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery. At UPS, the rate hike went into effect December 31st for UPS Ground Services, and the average increase also applies for parcels of up to 150 pounds.

Ken Wood, president of shipping advisory firm LJM Consulting, notes that the lighter the package, the higher the rate increase. And because most online retailers ship packages of 30 pounds or less, their average rate increase will run higher than 4.9%, he says.  “Overall, most e-commerce retailers will have a rate increase of about 7% or 8%,” he says.


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