The holidays may be months away, but holiday peak pricing is already going into effect at the United States Postal Service.
“Peak-season pricing” starts Sunday, Oct. 2 and lasts through Jan. 22, 2023, USPS says.
Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select and Retail Ground prices are all affected, though international products are not.
The change in price depends on the weight of the parcel and the distance it’s being shipped. Some changes are minor — as low as 25 cents — while others are substantial. The biggest price jump is $6.50 for shipping heavier, commercial Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages over long distances. (See a product-by-product breakdown from USPS)
Businesses that use USPS to ship products, like small business owners on Etsy, for example, could raise shipping and handling fees to cover the peak pricing changes.
USPS isn’t the only one hiking shipping prices this fall and winter. FedEx, UPS and Amazon have all announced similar surcharges.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is also planning to request another permanent stamp price hike in January, the Associated Press reports. The price increases are necessary as inflation is expected to add $1 billion to USPS’ budget, DeJoy said.
The price of Forever stamps just went up over the summer from 58 cents to 60 cents. Less than a year ago, the stamps cost 55 cents.
In another effort to save money, the Postal Service also slowed delivery times earlier this year.