Postal Updates

Priority Mail boxes and envelopes are shrinking

Sep 30, 2021, 12 PM
The United States Postal Service announced Sept. 23 that it is reducing the dimensions of various Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes and envelopes. Image courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.

Washington Postal Scene by Bill McAllister

If you thought something had changed with those free Priority Mail boxes from the United States Post Service, you’re right.

The agency acknowledged in the Sept. 23 Postal Bulletin that it has trimmed the dimensions of some of the boxes and envelopes by as much as a quarter of an inch or more.

The Postal Service said it is changing the dimensions of 11 of its boxes offered to the general public and three specialty boxes provided to high-volume customers.

“Changing the dimensions will allow the boxes and envelopes to be processed more efficiently, increase visibility, and reduce the need for manual package sortation,” the notice said.

The Postal Service said the changes would begin in late September and that it will continue to fulfill orders for supplies using boxes and envelopes with the current dimensions as long as supplies last.

Here are a couple of examples of the changes.

The large Priority Mail flat rate box’s width has been trimmed to 12 inches from 12¼ inches.

The Priority Mail Express Tyvek envelope’s length has been reduced to 15 inches from 15 1/8 inches.

Similar dimension changes also affect Priority Mail Tyvek envelopes and other boxes offered by the USPS.

One of the more noticeable changes is the Priority Mail regional rate box, which shrinks from height, width and length dimensions of 3 inches, 14½ inches and 16¼ inches, respectively, to 3 inches, 12 inches and 15 inches, respectively.

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