Posted on March 10, 2011 by Dennis Salazar

How to Beat the New USPS Rate Increases

As a substantial U.S. Postal Service rate increase goes into effect on April 17, many in the mailing and fulfillment industry are seeking ways to help minimize the increase, or better yet, reduce costs. Packaging can be an important component in that effort and will either help or hurt your bottom line. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

REVIEW Packaging

Size does matter and so does shape. Is the item being mailed in the smallest possible container? It is not unusual for us to see items shipping in a container that is much larger than necessary because it was created by a design or marketing person with absolutely no regard for postage or shipping costs. The USPS rewards automation and penalizes packages that aren’t automatable. That cute, eye catching die cut your designer is so proud of might be costing you big money.


Reducing the overall size of a container may be an obvious fix, but others may require more thought and testing. It is fair and accurate to say that many boxes being shipped could be made out of thinner, lighter weight board. At a time when ounces matter more than ever, examine every component being mailed for possible weight reduction opportunities. Don’t ignore inserts and void fill solutions because they may be adding more weight than you think.

RECLASSIFY and REVIEW Service Requirements

When does the package really have to be there? The USPS is very good about offering several different mailing and postage options for their customers, and in some cases customers unknowingly pay more for quicker service than is truly required. Most customers are willing to wait an extra day or two if there is a savings to be had. Another critical factor in determining cost is the class or type of container that is being mailed. Is your product shipping in the least expensive container class?

Globe Guard Light Rate BoxThese are just a few things we look at when reviewing a customer’s shipping and mailing operation. We are also able and willing to create new products when needed, such as our recently launched Globe Guard Light Rate box. It can dramatically reduce mailing costs in many cases, when compared to a USPS flat rate box.

No one likes to see rate increases, but it can also be a great time to review processes as well as packaging, and the end result may be a net overall savings.