Starting on April 3, 2022, USPS now imposes package surcharges known as "Non-Standard Package Fees" on most of their domestic shipping services when packages exceed certain dimensions.

The USPS services subject to these surcharges are: First Class Package Service®, Priority Mail®, Priority Mail Express®, and Parcel Select Ground®.

Media Mail® shipments will not be subject to any non-standard package fees.

The new "Non-standard" USPS surcharges

Here are the new USPS surcharges, and the situations when they apply:

  • $4 if any length of your package exceeds 22 inches but is less than 30 inches*

  • $15 if any length of your package exceeds 30 inches*

  • $15 for packages greater than 2 cubic feet in volume

  • $1.50 for missing or incorrect dimensions that result in any of the above non-standard surcharges

*Note that neither the 22" or 30" dimension-based surcharges apply to First Class Package Service, because you can't buy First Class Package labels if a single dimension on your package exceeds 22". First Class Package shipments can be greater than 2 cubic feet in volume, though, and those shipments could be subject to the $15 surcharge 😅

These surcharges will appear upfront, or as carrier adjustments if your package is bigger than expected

When you buy labels, you'll see these new USPS surcharges upfront if you enter dimensions that exceed any of the length thresholds listed above. However, they can also come in the form of carrier adjustments if you enter incorrect dimensions when buying your label. For instance, if you enter 20" as your length and USPS determines your length is actually 23", you will receive the $4 surcharge as a carrier adjustment, as well as the $1.50 since the dimensions were incorrect.

USPS imposes carrier adjustments on your shipment after determining that you entered inaccurate weight/dimension information or used the wrong type of packaging once they run your package through their Automated Package Verification (APV) System.

Carrier adjustment charges will appear as line items in your individual shipment links, and you can see all of these charges listed by clicking into your Reports / Carrier Adjustments 👍

These surcharges can stack on a single shipment

Keep in mind that these new USPS surcharges can "stack," meaning you may see more than one in a single shipment 🙈

For instance, if you send a package with one side greater than 22 inches and that is also greater than 2 cubic feet in volume, you'll see both the $4 non-standard Length Fee > 22", and the $15 non-standard Cube Fee > 2 Cubic Feet for a total of $19 in surcharges.

Here's an example of how those two stacked surcharges might look in your shipment:

How to avoid these new USPS surcharges

Here are a couple of ways you can avoid these new non-standard package fees from USPS:

Keep your packaging as small as possible

By keeping your packaging as small as possible, you can ensure that your packages don't reach the length thresholds where the new USPS surcharges kick in. For instance, if the longest side of your package(s) doesn't exceed 22 inches, you won't be subject to any non-standard package fees 😉

Use free Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express packaging from USPS

You can order free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes from the USPS website that will automatically keep your packaging below the length thresholds where the new surcharges apply. None of the free Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express packaging options available on the USPS website exceeds 22 inches in length except for the dual-use tubes (both the medium 1098 tube and the small 1098S):

  • The PM/PME medium 1098 tube will incur a $15 surcharge

  • The PM/PME small 1098S tube will incur a $4 surcharge

Unless you're shipping with a Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express tube, you won't need to worry about incurring any dimension-related surcharges!

Note that if you decide to use any of these Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express packaging options, you'll need to pay for the exact service marked on the box, and you may need to select it from your Type of Packaging drop-down menu. If you don't, USPS will impose carrier adjustments and charge your account for the proper postage required.

This also applies to all Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging, for which you'll need to create the proper flat rate labels.

Any questions? Chat with us by clicking the blue button at the bottom right part of your screen - we're always happy to lend a hook 😄

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