USPS Files Proposal for Flat-Rate Priority Mail Boxes

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The U.S. Postal Service last week filed a proposal with the Postal Rate Commission for a recommended decision on an experimental classification and rate for Priority Mail flat-rate boxes.


The USPS said the proposal calls for a two-year trial of the boxes with a $7.70 flat rate, regardless of package weight or destination.


The rate was chosen for customer convenience: Two Jefferson Memorial Priority Mail $3.85 stamps will cover the postage exactly, with no need to look up zone charts or weigh the parcel.


If approved, the USPS will test two box sizes. One will be similar to a clothing gift box (14 x 12 x 3.5 inches), and the other similar to a shoebox (11.2 x 8.75 x 6 inches). The dimensions will give customers the same packing space with different shapes to choose from.


The flat-rate boxes would be available at post offices and on USPS.com.


"By avoiding the need for mailers themselves to weigh and rate Priority Mail parcels, or to visit a post office to get such parcels weighed and rated, postal service customers can simply put an item or items in a box previously obtained from the postal service, apply the known postage amount and address appropriately [and] enter the piece into the mail," the filing said.


"Products that are easy to access and simple to use provide real value for our customers," CMO Anita Bizzotto said. "This proposal demonstrates our commitment to providing convenient options for sending packages and introducing innovative solutions to the marketplace."


The USPS does not need to make a capital investment to initiate the experiment, the filing said. In addition, the rate selected "is sufficient to guard against any significant loss of revenue from existing Priority Mail customers, while providing for additional revenue from new Priority Mail business," the filing said. "Thus, the proposed experiment creates no appreciable risk of significant, negative financial results or harm to the postal service, mailers using the new packaging, or other materials."


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