Planning Ahead to Save Postage Costs


Planning Ahead to Save Postage Costs

Do you have a routine for sending out letters and gifts to your ministry partners? If you rely on the United States Postal Service (or other shipping services), you’ll want to know about some changes coming in 2021.

How the Pandemic Changed Shipping

Because many people limited travel for the holiday season in 2020, shippers added surcharges to handle the high volume of packages. I didn’t know that. Did you?

It may be a new normal to charge holiday shipping surcharges. (I’ll write more under the “changes” headline.)

Delivering for America

USPS has lost money for years, but the United States Postmaster General has plans to change that. Mr. DeJoy believes his plans will help the Post Office break even by 2023. (Did you know the first Postmaster General was Ben Franklin in 1775?)

I won’t share all the details of his ten-year plan, Delivering for America. I’ll share what I think may impact you.

What Is Staying the Same

We’ll still have mail delivered six days per week. Packages continue to be delivered seven days per week.

Only a few low-volume post offices will be consolidated to a nearby post office.

What Changes We Won’t See

New sorting practices, better tracking, and simplifying transportation will impact us indirectly.

Plan Ahead for These Changes

Rate Increases

USPS is starting its second price increase of the year on August 29th. We’ll see more rate increases over the ten-year plan, but none are announced at this time.

These are the new prices for Forever stamps starting August 29th:

  • First-class 58¢
  • Additional ounce 20¢
  • Non-machinable 30¢
  • Postcard 40¢
  • International $1.30

Check out the previous rates here.

Our ministry partners love the commemorative stamps we use on our newsletters. Check out the new designs and order some Forever stamps today at USPS.com.

(Do you have little ones in your life? The Message Monster stamps are coming out in September and can be customized with “accessories”.)

Delivery Time for First-Class Mail

The delivery window for first-class will be five days instead of three. For me, I usually send anniversary and birthday cards one week ahead, so I’ll stick with that habit.

Holiday Surcharges for Packages

The U. S. Post Office (USPS) will add surcharges to packages again for October 3 through December 26. Check online for holiday surcharge dates for other carriers if you prefer to use Amazon, UPS, FedEx, or others.

This change may be the biggest impact, especially if you send Christmas appreciation gifts to your financial partners. I’ve been sending our gifts in the summer. I suspect our gifts get more notice because they aren’t one of many in December. If you like sending in December, maybe sending your gifts after Christmas will work for you.

Again, check other carriers for their surcharge dates if you need to.

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