USPS Announces New Shipping Rates for 2021

USPS shipping rates change all the time, based on several different factors. When it comes to keeping tabs on shipping costs, part of that includes keeping up with USPS rates and other shipping providers. Fortunately, you’ll find everything that you need to know right here. We’ll cover USPS package rates, explain how flat rate shipping works, and even offer insight on what causes rate increases when it comes to USPS shipping services. 

How Does USPS Shipping Flat Rates Work?

USPS flat rate shipping is a service that allows you to ship items at a single rate, rather than paying by weight. The rates are calculated based on a combination of several factors, including things like:

  • Mail class
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Shape

The United States Postal Services even has discounted pricing available for certain services when purchased through third-party online services, but that usually requires some type of membership with the service. It’s always helpful to check USPS shipping rates with the shipper or 3PL partner that you’re using so that you know what to expect. 

Flat rate shipping means that you will be able to send anything, of any size, for a single price based on its classification. There are different sizes of envelopes and boxes available, as you can see listed in the USPS shipping rate tables below.

Why Does USPS Increase Their Shipping Rates?

The USPS sets moderate price increases each year to keep up with inflation and as a means to fund the operation of the Postal Service. There are some years where shipping rate changes are nominal and other years where they increase substantially due to various factors. The reason for increasing shipping rates is all about making sure that the USPS isn’t losing money. They are also spending more on shipping transport and packaging products, so they pass those expenses onto the consumer. 

USPS Shipping Rates for 2021

For 2021, the USPS shipping rates have gone up slightly. It’s no doubt that the pandemic and its related effects had an impact on the postal service and its ability to provide reliable delivery solutions, and as the strain is felt, the increase in costs helps offset the impact. In the charts below, you’ll see a full list of USPS shipping rates for 2021 to help you stay on top of things. 

 USPS Flat Rate Box Sizes and Prices in 2021

Here is the latest information for USPS flat rate shipping for 2021. Flat rate shipping is almost always cheaper than priority mail or other services, but it still doesn’t hurt to compare before choosing a mailing class. In the table below, you’ll see that prices have only increased at a fractional amount, with large boxes having the biggest increase.

USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate2020 Commercial Rates2021 Commercial RatesPrice Increase
Flat Rate Envelopes$7.15$7.40$0.25
Legal Flat Rate Envelope$7.45$7.70$0.25
Padded Flat Rate Envelope$7.75$8.00$0.25
Small Flat Rate Box$7.65$7.90$0.25
Medium Flat Rate Boxes$13.20$13.75$0.55
Large Flat Rate Boxes$18.30$19.30$1.00
APO/FPO/DPOLarge Flat Rate Box$16.80$17.80$1.00

USPS Priority Mail Rates in 2021

USPS Priority Mail is another option for eCommerce retailers and others who need to ship items quickly and affordably. Priority Mail based on weight or zones is a little more expensive than flat rate shipping. Priority mail rates have only increased a few cents, so that won’t be a huge expense or inconvenience for anyone. You can see the latest rates based on location zone in the table below.

USPS Priority Mail2020 Commercial Rates2021 Commercial RatesPrice Increase
Zones 1 & 2$7.94$8.10$0.16
Zone 3$8.45$8.58$0.13
Zone 4$9.07$9.21$0.14
Zone 5$10.33$10.43$0.10
Zone 6$14.16$14.80$0.64
Zone 7$16.06$16.78$0.72
Zone 8$18.14$18.96$0.82

Is Priority Mail the Same as Flat Rate?

Priority Mail is not the same as flat rate shipping. Priority Mail is the class under which this flat rate shipping falls, but there are other types, too. There is also weight-based Priority Mail, which will have different costs based on package weight and other factors, and Priority Mail Cubic, which is designed specifically for small businesses. 

Flat rate shipping is all about providing a basic shipping service that most people and small businesses can use to send items for a single rate. This also means that they can ship items from more places and spend less time waiting in line at the Post Office to have items weighed. 

Which is Cheaper?

Typically speaking, USPS Flat Rate prices are going to be better than standard priority mail packages because they are standardized. In some cases, it may be cheaper to ship an envelope via Priority Mail because it doesn’t weigh enough to benefit from the flat rate discount. However, a large package could be much cheaper to send flat rate than by weight. 

However It’s Done, It Needs to Be Done Right

When you’re dealing with USPS shipping and other shipping services, you must get all of the solutions that you need. It can be difficult to keep up with flat rate shipping rates and all of the logistics of shipping, but if you’re working in eCommerce, you’re not alone. A partner could be a great way to get more out of the shipping process while doing less work. 

The team at Print Bind Ship can assist with all of your shipping needs, from USPS flat rate shipping to overnight shipping, other shipping providers, and more. We’ll take care of all the fulfillment and delivery details so that you can get back to business. Partner with our team today and spend less time worrying about shipping rates by letting us handle everything for you. We can even come up with better logistics solutions for a total package to handle all of your fulfillment and shipping needs. Contact us today to learn more about our shipping and fulfillment solutions and how we can help you stay informed about USPS shipping rates and other logistics concerns while handling them all for you.