USPS discontinues Priority Mail Regional Rate
by Rockwell Sands @

USPS Discontinues Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes

Postal Service seeks to simplify Priority Mail product offerings by taking Regional Rate Boxes A & B off the market

Effective January 22, 2023, USPS is discontinuing Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the decision, and as a result, shippers will no longer be able to use any of the Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes.

Why Did USPS Discontinue Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes?

USPS decided to discontinue its Regional Rate boxes “as part of an effort to simplify the Priority Mail products offering,” per the aforementioned statement from the Postal Service. The statement adds that USPS made its decision after conducting a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis.

A Brief History of Regional Rate

The United States Postal Service introduced the Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes A and B in 2011. USPS created them as a way for customers to potentially save money on shipping by combining the speed of Priority Mail shipping with zone-based pricing, though the service remained less popular than weight-based Priority Mail and other dimension-based services, such as Priority Mail Cubic.

Regional Rate Boxes A1 and A2 had a maximum weight of 15 pounds for domestic shipping and 10 pounds for international shipping. Regional Rate Boxes B1 and B2, meanwhile, had a maximum weight of 20 pounds for both domestic and international shipping.

The Alternative: Priority Mail Cubic

Now that Priority Mail Regional Rate is no more, the alternative that USPS recommends is Priority Mail Cubic, or “cubic,” for short.

Used for shipping similar-sized packages as Regional Rate boxes, cubic is the cheapest and fastest option for sending packages under 0.5 cubic feet. Unlike other USPS shipping services, Priority Mail Cubic isn’t priced based on weight. Instead, the outer dimensions of a box or envelope determine how much it costs to ship it. As long as the maximum weight of the package doesn’t exceed 20 pounds, the price won’t fluctuate at all. Here are the criteria your box or envelope needs to meet in order to qualify for cubic rates:

  • No single dimension on your package can exceed 18 inches
  • Your package’s total weight can’t exceed 20 pounds
  • Your package’s total volume can’t exceed 0.5 cubic feet

Can I Still Use Regional Rate If I Have the Boxes On Hand?

You can still use Regional Rate boxes if you have them on hand. In fact, USPS encourages customers who use these boxes to order more before supplies run out. However, current Regional Rate pricing will not be available starting on January 22, 2023, and USPS says that any Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes given to them from that point forward will be treated as weight-based Priority Mail shipments.

Regional Rate Boxes Work for Priority Mail Cubic Shipments

Since Regional Rate Boxes are similar to box sizes that qualify for cubic rates, you can also use them for Priority Mail Cubic shipments. You won’t be able to purchase Priority Mail Cubic postage at your local Post Office, though; you can only purchase cubic postage through online shipping software companies that sell USPS postage at discounted rates.

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14 Comments

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  1. DON SWARTZ

    Using USPS has become an absolute nightmare!!

    Reply  
    • Patti

      Yes, I agree. And both UPS and FedEx are too expensive for small businesses.

      Reply  
  2. bill Hurley Lures

    is it true that to use cubic shipping discount I have to ship at least 50,000 packages a year??

    Reply  
    • Patti

      From what I understand, yes, primarily if you use a third-party shipping program. Anyway, that is what Stamps.com told me.

      Reply  
    • Janet

      If you go through a shipper like Pirate Ship you can use the regional boxes with the cubic shipping. The 50,000 pkg deal is if you go through USPS.

      Reply  
  3. Patti

    Seriously, we know you (CEO) are purposely destroying USPS. Corporate GREED.

    Reply  
    • Patti

      And of course, you are monitoring comments. TRUTH hurts.

      Reply  
  4. Mary Michel

    Use the RRboxes frequently for my online book business. This change will greatly impact the bottom line for small businesses. Will have to increase our shipping costs but will be hard to compete with larger volume sellers that will not increase their shipping prices to undercut the smaller seller. Very disappointed.

    Reply  
    • Patti

      Hi Mary,
      You can use Media Mail for more economical shipping. In addition, I have entered the exact sizes of both the Reg A and Reg B boxes into my Stamps.com account. Now I can continue using Regional Rate (RR) boxes by USPS (until they run out of inventory). The costs are close to the same, maybe sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less costly. But once USPS runs out of inventory for the RR boxes, we all will be required to purchase our own boxes. I hope this helps.

      Reply  
  5. Micah

    I don’t trust the USPS in charging me correctly even if I use the Regional boxes as cubic. I am now tearing them down for recycling, even before the deadline. Not worth the risk.

    Reply  
    • G Brummer

      “You won’t be able to purchase Priority Mail Cubic postage at your local Post Office, though; you can only purchase cubic postage through online shipping software companies that sell USPS postage at discounted rates.”

      Reply  
    • Patti

      Micah,
      See my comment to Mary’s post above…

      Reply  
  6. Herb

    I’m not surprised. YOU removed all the drop boxes in my area, now this.
    Can I drop off all the Regional boxes I have ordered off to the local post office or is it legal to dump them in my recycling bin?
    I’ll use FedEx as much as I can. I don’t have any constant local mail delivery anymore anyway.
    Thanks for your past service, Herb

    Reply  
    • Gina

      You can still use them January 22 and beyond. Consider Priority Mail cubic pricing as a way to still use the boxes that you have. If you really do not want them, you can give them to your local post office.

      The recommended alternative is Priority Mail Cubic. Priority Mail Cubic is a sub-service of Priority Mail in which the commercial customer ships using their own packaging and the pricing is based on the outer dimensions of the package rather than weight. This option offers similar cost savings as Regional Rate boxes. Priority Mail Cubic packages must measure 0.5 cubic feet or less, weigh 20 pounds or less, and the longest dimension may not exceed 18 inches. Priority Mail Cubic has zone pricing with five price tiers up to 0.5 cubic feet (see Notice 123 | Postal Explorer (usps.com)).

      Reply  

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