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USPS plans to charge more for packages shipped during the holidays

August 11, 2021, 3:02 PM UTC

Shipping presents to friends and relatives this holiday season is going to cost more.

The U.S. Postal Service says it will add surcharges to packages shipped between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26 to help offset higher shipping costs. That means you can expect to pay anywhere from an extra 25¢ to $5, depending on the size of the package and the distance it needs to travel.

The extra charges will apply to both individuals and corporations. The USPS rolled out the surcharges last year for commercial customers.

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

Last year’s surcharges helped the USPS achieve a slight level of profitability. They didn’t make things move faster, though. The division was overwhelmed with packages, and many consumers reported substantial delays.

The Postal Service saw a record-breaking 25% increase in holiday shipping and package volume last year, with revenue up by $2.1 billion over the same quarter in 2019. About 1.1 billion packages were delivered throughout the holiday season.

UPS and FedEx also started putting surcharges on shipments during the holiday season in 2020. The move was a result of fewer people traveling or visiting friends, resulting in a significantly higher number of shipments, putting a strain on the system.

With the Delta variant causing a new swath of COVID-19 infections across the country, many people are rethinking their holiday plans, which could mean another busy season for package deliveries. That could push shipping deadlines out even further as we get into December. Those dates are usually locked in closer to Thanksgiving.

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