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The U.S. Postal Service plans to charge more for shipping this holiday season

The U.S. Postal Service plans to charge more for shipping this holiday season

Even shipping early—real early—this holiday season is going to cost more.

The U.S. Postal Service has filed notice of a temporary price hike to offset costs during the peak shipping season. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, as it is expected to be, the higher prices would kick in on Oct. 2 and run through Jan. 22, 2023.

Exactly how much extra you’ll pay depends on the size and weight of the shipment, of course. But a heavy package sent a long distance could cost as much as an additional $6.50, officials say. Commercial priority mail packages will cost 75 cents more.

“This seasonal adjustment will bring prices for the Postal Service’s commercial and retail customers in line with competitive practices,” the postal service said in a statement. “No structural changes are planned as part of this limited pricing initiative.”

Holiday price surges are becoming commonplace at the USPS and have helped the division achieve profitability historically, but this year’s is notably steeper than last year, when prices increased from between 25 cents and $5.

Higher prices don’t guarantee faster delivery, however. In 2020, when postal officials again seasonally adjusted prices and saw a $2.1 billion increase in revenue, the post office was overwhelmed with packages as people stayed home for the holidays. Many customers reported substantial delays. And last year, in early October, USPS officials enacted new service standards that resulted in longer transit times.

UPS and FedEx both also started putting surcharges on shipments during the holiday season in 2020.

Holiday 2022, however, isn’t likely to see the same sort of volume as last year, and certainly not like the height of the pandemic. Americans are traveling freely once again, both by car and air, which will lessen the load on delivery services.

That could present some easing for shipping deadlines, which are typically locked in by mid- to late-November.

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