New Shape-based Rates Kick-in at Canada Post

Canada Post on Monday implemented new shape-based postage rates similar to those used by the U.S. Postal Service.

As you know, the U.S. Postal Service restructured postage rates in May 2007, causing dramatic rate changes and disruption for organizations shipping small, lightweight packages. Now, Canada Post has implemented its own shape-based pricing for small parcels. As of Jan. 12, “regular oversize lettermail” items are defined as:

–Parcels from 0.18 mm to 10 mm thick, regardless of flexibility; and
–Parcels from 10 mm to 20 mm thick that meet the new flexibility requirement and do not have box-like edges

All other specifications for oversize mail—including the maximum size and weight—remain the same. What’s more, regular oversize lettermail retain all of the benefits and features of basic lettermail, such as “return to sender” and two-, three-, four-day delivery (local, provincial, national).

This change in the rate structure – which went into effect quickly compared to the U.S. – has left many mailers scrambling for solutions.

But there are options: If a parcel can be reconfigured to meet Canada Post’s new specifications, you can turn your “irregular oversized lettermail” into “regular oversized lettermail.”

All Canada Post retail outlets are equipped with tools to measure the dimensions of oversize pieces and test the flexibility of thick items. To view a prototype of a template that you can print to measure the thickness and test the flexibility of your existing oversize items, click here.

Alternatively, you can apply the step-by-step “table flex test” to determine an item’s flexibility.

Canada Post has also compiled some recommended packaging and shipping practices that aim to help mailers mitigate the impact of these changes and reduce shipping costs.

Editor’s note: This article was corrected Thursday, Jan. 15, after Canada Post notified us that –
 contrary to previous reports — the rate increase effective Jan. 12 does not apply to irregular oversize lettermail.

“Changes to specifications and associated prices for irregular oversize lettermail were not introduced,” a press release from Canada Post states.
”The domestic lettermail rate (up to 30g) will increase by two cents, from (CAN) 52 to 54 cents, for 2009 only; the cost of sending letters, cards and postcards up to 30g to the U.S. will also increase by two cents, from 96 to 98 cents; sending the same items to other international destinations will increase by five cents, from (CAN) $1.60 to $1.65.”

Canada Post has also clarified that the rate increase for lettermail weighing more 30g won’t take effect until Feb. 23. For more information, click here.

Multichannel Merchant apologizes for the errors.

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