/PRNewswire/ -- The simpler way to ship -- with convenient Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes from the U.S. Postal Service -- will be just as simple in the New Year, when new prices take effect.
Prices for Priority Mail, a product familiar across America through popular television and online advertisements featuring Al the Letter Carrier, will change on Jan. 4, 2010. Customers also can look forward to several Priority Mail innovations.
In a first for the shipping industry, the Postal Service is introducing cubic volume-based pricing for large volume commercial Priority Mail shippers. Customers who ship small, dense, space-efficient packages will receive a financial incentive through a new, tiered pricing option. This encourages greener, more efficient shipping and is one more way the Postal Service is eco friendly.
Other benefits for Priority Mail customers effective in January include a decrease in the domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope retail price from $4.95 to $4.90. The popular Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box will continue to be one of the best consumer values in the domestic shipping market at under $5. Its 2010 price will remain at $4.95.
Cubic volume-based pricing will not be the only first in January for customers who qualify to ship at Commercial Plus prices. A Priority Mail half-pound price, based on distance, will be added only in the Commercial Plus pricing category. And, a new Priority Mail Flat Rate padded envelope measuring 9.5 x 12.5 inches will be available exclusively for Commercial Plus shippers. This envelope is specially designed for jewelry, electronics and other delicate goods.
"We have put together a range of creative and innovative products and services for our customers," said Robert Bernstock, president, Mailing and Shipping Services. "With these new offerings, the Postal Service is reinforcing the value of Priority Mail as the right product at the right time," he said.
In addition to an overall price increase of 3.3 percent, on average, for Priority Mail, there will be new prices for Express Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International, Parcel Select and Parcel Return Service, also effective Jan. 4.
Prices for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Parcel Post and other mailing services products will not change in 2010, with the cost of a First-Class Mail stamp remaining at 44 cents.
"The Postal Service is the best buy in the market, whether you're watching your budget or gearing up as the economy starts to rebound," Bernstock said, noting that other shippers have announced price increases of nearly 6 percent for 2010, excluding fuel surcharges. Most shippers add extra fees for fuel, rural delivery, Saturday delivery and other items to a customer's final bill. The Postal Service has no comparable surcharges.
Customers who pay for their shipping services online will continue to save compared to retail prices. Online costs will be, on average, 5 percent less than retail for Express Mail and 5.7 percent less for Priority Mail. Online savings for international shipping will be 10 percent less than retail for Global Express Guaranteed, 8 percent less for Express Mail International and 5 percent less for Priority Mail International.
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