UPDATE (12:10 p.m.): Jerry McKiernan, Manager of Media Relations for USPS, called back. He says he has “nothing to announce today.”

The USPS won’t call us back regarding the “Big Announcement” that is scheduled to be announced today, but they did release a press release today talking about the rate hikes for USPS shipping prices that we reported last week. (They also released an Edgar Allan Poe stamp today, but we’re guessing that wasn’t the announcement that got everyone so interested.)

– Staff at The National Spending Journal, By Shoeboxed

Shipping Rate Increases Were the Big Announcement?
Shipping Rate Increases Were the Big Announcement?

The USPS press release:

WASHINGTON — Commercial shippers can take advantage of new volume price incentives when shipping through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) starting next week.

Commercial Plus pricing launches Jan. 18, with up-front price incentives for qualifying shippers using USPS overnight and 2- to 3-day expedited services.

The incentives will be available for domestic Express Mail and Priority Mail users who meet established volume requirements. On average, Commercial Plus prices for Express Mail will be 14.5 percent less than USPS retail prices; Priority Mail Commercial Plus prices will average 7 percent less.

“Commercial Plus pricing is an extraordinary value for our high-volume shippers,” said Gary Reblin, vice president of Expedited Shipping. “It’s our reward to customers for their loyalty in consistently shipping with the Postal Service.”

Reblin says customers benefit from the competitive price position of Express Mail and Priority Mail in the market, especially for packages weighing 5 pounds or less. “Even before the new incentives, Express Mail and Priority Mail services are the best values in shipping,” he said. “Commercial Plus prices are the icing on the cake.”

As an example of the savings available, Commercial Plus customers will pay $14.96 for an Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope, compared to the $17.50 retail price. Commercial Plus Priority Mail flat-rate savings compared to retail prices are shown in the accompanying table.

Flat-Rate Envelopes and Boxes Retail Commercial Plus
Priority Mail
Envelope $4.95 $4.75
Small box $4.95 $4.75
Regular box $10.35 $9.67
Large box $13.95 $13.27
Large box (APO/FPO) $11.95 $11.30

To qualify for Commercial Plus savings, customers must ship 6,000 or more pieces of Express Mail per year — about 25 pieces a day — or 100,000 or more pieces of Priority Mail per year — about 420 a day. Customers also must use a USPS-approved payment method, including an Express Mail Corporate Account, Endicia.com, Stamps.com, Pitney Bowes or other USPS-authorized online postage provider.