Effective April 3, 2022, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will implement surcharges for package shipments that consist of non-standard dimensions. These surcharges were first announced as part of the January 9, 2022 price change for competitive products, but implementation was postponed until April 3, 2022.
The surcharges apply to packages shipped using USPS Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Services (Retail only) and Parcel Select. There is a surcharge of $1.50 per package for any package that exceeds one cubic foot or is longer than 22 inches that does not have accurate dimensions provided by the shipper.
The non-standard package dimension surcharges are as follows: $4.00 per package for packages where the longest side exceeds 22 inches (up to 30 inches) $15.00 per package for packages where the longest side exceeds 30 inches. $15.00 per package for packages where the volume exceeds two cubic feet. Volume is calculated by multiplying the package length times the package width times the package height.
Shippers should note that multiple surcharges may be applied. For example, if your package is 35” long, 10” high and 10” wide, you would pay an additional $15.00 for the package exceeding 30 inches in length, but you would also pay yet another $15.00 additional for the package being greater than 2 cubic feet. So, a potential of $30.00 in surcharges on top of the postage for the package!
The surcharges are designed to maximize package sorting efficiencies at USPS processing facilities, which do not handle non-standard dimension packages very well.
If you ship packages regularly, you need to pay attention to these new surcharges to make sure that your packages fit within the standard dimensions. You may also want to review using flat rate shipping options, which provide a variety of flat rate box sizes.
For more information, the USPS has provided a FAQ document on the April 3, 2022 price changes at https://postalpro.usps.com/april-2022-release-FAQs.