USPS News: USPS Proposes Consolidating Ground Shipping Options
by Kelly Berbert
What’s the latest with USPS? Well, there may be some changes to the USPS service levels for one. The United States Postal Service filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) changes to their package classifications that would consolidate three of the USPS mail classes (Parcel Select Ground, USPS Retail Ground, and First-Class Package Service) into a single product–an enhanced and expanded First-Class Package Service (FCPS) product.
"We are improving service and simplifying product offerings for our customers," said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. "By upgrading the customer experience and optimizing our package processing and surface transportation networks, we are becoming the best option in the industry."
These changes, if approved, are proposed to go into effect some time in 2023*. While no specific date has yet been established, the Postal Service will provide 30 days notice before the changes go into effect.
*NOTE: The changes were previously proposed to be implemented on January 8, 2023, assuming a favorable review by the PRC in 2022, but following a vote by the Postal Service Governors, the Postal Service is now planning for a later effective date in 2023.
What will the new First-Class Package Service product look like?
The new First-Class Package Service product would be an effort to simplify USPS’s ground shipping options by consolidating them into one product. Here are the proposed updates to the First-Class Package Service:
- The First-Class Package Service product weight limit (currently an ounce-based offering up to 15.999 ounces) would expand to up to 70 pounds and will include prices for 4 oz (0.25 pounds) weight increments up to 1 pound, followed by 1 pound increments. *The USPS has proposed similar updates to the pricing structure for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express as well.
- The First-Class Package Service size (dimension) limitations will also be updated to align with the product consolidation.
- $100 of insurance will be included in the enhanced First-Class Package Service product.
- There will be a cubic pricing structure for 10 tiers up to 20 pounds, along with Oversized, Dimensional Weight, and Nonstandard Fees.
As part of the updated First-Class Package Service product, both Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground will be subsumed under the newly enhanced First-Class Package Service product. In addition, the Parcel Select Ground price category will be eliminated from the Parcel Select product to avoid redundancy.
How might these changes impact your business?
Not all change is bad! The proposed USPS classification changes may favor a more simplified and streamlined process and efficient cost. The proposed updates simplify and consolidate ground shipping options to be unified under the popular First-Class Package Service class, including free insurance. As more details become available, shippers should consider the updated First-Class Package Service product to see how it may reduce transportation costs.
Wondering how you can stay up to date on these changes and more about USPS? Subscribe to our blog post to get updates on USPS package classification changes and other USPS news.