2021 USPS postage rates and mailing costs | Pitney Bowes





Why are DIM prices increasing?

Lighter weight, lower density packages are comparatively less profitable for carriers because they take up so much space relative to the price charged per package (based on weight alone). Looking for ways to adjust this model, carriers started using dimensional (DIM) weight rates. DIM weight rates allow carriers like UPS to establish a minimum charge for the cubic space a package occupies.


When does the USPS DIM change go into effect?

The USPS DIM change goes into effect on June 23, 2019. The current divisor for USPS is 194, but that will change to 166.


Are there any other changes to DIM pricing?

Yes. The USPS is also making the following changes to DIM pricing:

a.     USPS will add dimensional (DIM) weight pricing to Priority Mail zones Local and 1-4. DIM weight pricing will now apply to all zones. 

b.    USPS will add DIM weight pricing to Priority Mail Express®. 

c.     USPS will add DIM weight pricing to Parcel Select.


Are all the carriers changing their DIM weight pricing?

FedEx and UPS adjusted their DIM pricing in 2018. USPS DIM rates are the only ones changing on June 23, 2019.


How does DIM weight get calculated?

DIM weight is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height of each package (in inches) divided by carrier divisor for shipments.

As an example, a 2 lb. box that is 12” x 12” x 12” is 1,728 cubic inches. This number gets divided by the carrier divisor.

1,728/166 = 10.41 lbs., which rounds up to 11 lbs. The 11 lbs. is the DIM weight which will be used for rating your package.


What size packages qualify for DIM weight pricing?

·       For UPS and FedEx, packages starting at 6” x 6” x 6” and up qualify.

·       For USPS shipments, packages that are greater than one cubic foot (length x width x height is greater than 1,728 inches) will be subject to the greater of the actual weight or the dimensional weight. This calculation applies to all Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and Parcel Select Ground services.


What role does weight play in calculating cost?

Carriers take the DIM weight and the physical weight and choose the higher of the two to determine the final calculation.


What are some ways to minimize costs?

·       Choose the right box size. Don’t ship air.

·       If you need a filler, be sure it is lightweight. Don’t use more than you need to protect the contents.

·       Don’t overstuff the box. Sometimes splitting a shipment into two boxes is more economical.


What happens if the DIM weight is calculated incorrectly?

FedEx and UPS extra charges will show up on your next statement. You will find this under the adjustments section of your invoice. If a USPS package is calculated incorrectly, postage will be due upon arrival at recipient’s address or returned to sender for insufficient postage.


Do Pitney Bowes mailing and shipping solutions offer the ability to calculate DIM weight?

All SendPro mailing and shipping solutions allow clients to enter the box dimensions and have the DIM weight automatically calculated. In addition, our SendSuite Live and SendPro Enterprise solutions offer a tool that will calculate the DIM weight for you by automatically measuring the package.