This April, the USPS is making some changes to the costs involved in shipping larger packages. Specifically, they’re adding what are colloquially referred to in the industry as “dims” (short for “dimensional fees”). These dims are added fees based on package dimensions, and depending on what your brand ships each day, some, all, or none of your parcels may be affected.
Starting Sunday, Apr 3, 2022, the USPS will be charging additional fees for certain shipments. These “non-standard package fees” and “non-compliance fees” will affect—and be enforced on—parcels shipped via the following services:
- First-Class Package Service
- Retail Ground
- Parcel Select Ground
- Priority Mail
- Priority Mail Express
So if you use any of these services when shipping your products, be on the lookout for the fees described below.
The “Non-Standard Package Fees”
These fees are based on the size of the package you are sending. Not the internal measurements of the product or items in the package, but the amount of space the whole thing will take up in a mail truck. They base these fees off of two measurements: the length, and the cubic volume.
The “Length Fee” affects all packages over 22” in length:
- For packages over 22” in length, but not over 30”, the fee is $4
- For packages over 30” in length, the fee is $15
The “Cube Fee” affects all packages over 2 cubic feet in volume, regardless of other measurements. This fee is $15 for any package that exceeds the limit.
Now, unless you’re familiar with the USPS Priority Mail Cubic service, you might not be used to calculating the cubic volume of a package you’re using, so here’s how you can get that figure:
- Measure the Length (L), Height (H), and Width (W) of the package in inches
- Multiply L x H x W to get your cubic volume in inches
- Divide that figure by 1728 (which is 12 inches cubed, i.e. one cubic foot)
- The final result is your package’s volume in cubic feet
If that final number is larger than 2, the $15 cube fee applies.
One final note on non-standard package fees: they’re additive. In other words, if your package is over 22” long and more than 2 cubic feet in volume, the fee total will be $19. If it’s instead longer than 30” and more than 2 cu. ft., the total is $30.
The “Dimension Non-Compliance Fee”
There’s one other fee to watch for. If you hand off your package without properly labeling it with accurate dimension measurements (and thus, paying for the appropriate fees as part of the postage), you’ll also get hit with a non-compliance fee. This $1.50 fee applies to any package that’s:
- Longer than 22” in length or
- Greater than 1 cubic foot in volume
But the fee only applies if you fail to provide dimensions, or if the measurements you provide are inaccurate (such as listing the measurements of the product inside, or the internal measurements of the box it’s in). It’s important to note that most shipping boxes list their internal dimensions, not their external ones, so be sure to double-check those figures.
Does This Affect Your Shipping Costs?
While few (if any) brands sell products that use identical shipping packages across the board, not all brands sell products that require boxes big enough to incur these fees. In other words, any package you ship that is smaller than the above dimensions won’t be affected at all, and you won’t see any increase in price.
You might also have noticed that several other USPS offerings weren’t included in the list of those affected by the fees, such as:
- Priority Mail Flat Rate
- Priority Mail Cubic
- Priority Mail Regional
That’s because the requirements to ship via these programs are already under the limits mentioned above: flat rate and regional both use boxes provided by the USPS, and cubic limits every measurement to 18” or less. So if you’re primarily using these services, you’re in the clear.
If you find that your packages fall into these additional fees, reach out to us to see if there’s a way to ship your products for less.