On January 21, 2018, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is set to increase postage rates for some services.  Note that IMS processing fees will not change at this time.

Here's the approximate overall impact on IMS customer rates for the following services:

  • International Priority Airmail (IPA): 2.7%
  • International Surface Air Lift (ISAL):  2.6%
IMS rates for PMEI, PMI, and Commercial ePacket ARE NOT CHANGING at this time We don't expect changes to these services until at least late Summer 2018, however they are subject to change with 30 day notice.  The postage rates that IMS pays are based on a "Negotiated Service Agreement" with the USPS and are not calculated off the published rates or timetables for these services. 
For anyone using USPS "First Class Package International Service" (FCPIS), your postage rates from the USPS are going up about 3.9%.  This is a great opportunity to start using our Commercial ePacket service for your international packages!  We can give you door to door tracking AND save you 50% or more to 31 of the most popular countries with more being added (no, I'm not kidding!).

More information including rate charts will be going out to all customers within the next week or so.  Please let us know if you have questions or would like comparison quotes prepared at the new pricing.

July 25, 2017

Subject: Some USPS postage rates increasing on August 20, 2017

Dear IMS customer,

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is increasing rates for segments of the International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) services on August 20, 2017. As you know, our normal rate changes take place in January so this is unusual. This is not a standard postage increase but rather the result of renegotiated contracts per the USPS notification below:

United States Postal Service has notified partners with Negotiated Service Agreements of a price increase for International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Airlift (ISAL) effective August 20, 2017. The increase was planned to coincide with contract renewals which expired in June; however, we granted additional time to allow for coordination of technology changes and client notification. The decision was made to modify the contracts to reflect shape-based pricing to align with our increased costs in these products.

Here’s how the following service groups will be affected (percentages are based on the average of all country groups and piece weights, your actual costs could vary accordingly):

  • Commercial ePacket (CeP): No changes
  • PMEI and PMI (both Standard and Presort Drop Ship): No changes
  • IPA Letters: Increase of 5.4%
  • IPA Flats: No changes
  • IPA Packages: No changes
  • IPA M-bags: No changes
  • ISAL Letters: Increase of 16% (Note: It will be much cheaper to route all Letter size pieces via IPA)
  • ISAL Flats: Increase of 3.5%
  • ISAL Packages: Increase of 3.5%
  • ISAL M-bags: No changes

Because costs can vary by destination country, piece size, and weights, we recommend that certain mailings/shipments be quoted if questions. As we’ve always done for customers, we’ll recommend one service over another when it’s advantageous for the customer both rate and service wise.  Here’s what we’ll be looking at for items sent IPA and ISAL only:

  • Letters: Routing all via IPA (cheaper and faster).
  • Flats: With the increase to ISAL (and not to IPA), it becomes cheaper to route certain countries (most notably, Canada) via IPA.
  • Packages: Routing all via IPA.

We’re hoping to have rates emailed to all customers within a week. Your business is important to us – we’ll strive to provide the best possible rate and service for customers of all sizes. Thanks for your business!


Mark Bouman, Business Development, Principal

International Mail Service Inc (IMS)



Both the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Canada Post Corporation (CPC) have announced postage rate changes for January 2017.

Summary of USPS changes effective January 22, 2017

First, a note about IMS rates - The postage rates we pay differ from published pricing in that they are part of separate, negotiated contracts.  Individual services may have different discount levels and even effective implementation dates.  This process benefits our customers as work share opportunities drive the postage cost down and can improve turn times and ultimately, the delivery of your mail and packages. 

The following IMS services will see minimal increases on January 22, 2017.

International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL)

  • Rates for all service categories (letters, flats, packages, and m-bags) will increase an average of 3.8%.
  • IMS all-inclusive rates will save customers up to 80% compared to First Class Mail (and Package) International.
  • For packages, IMS provides an acceptance scan for customers using Endicia or Stamps PC postage software.
Commercial ePacket (CeP)   
  • Rates will increase an average of 3.0% (note that IMS rates for this service have not changed since May 31, 2015).
  • IMS all-inclusive rates will save customers 50% or more compared to First Class Package International.
  • Service provides full door to door tracking to 29 of the most popular countries worldwide.
  • Endicia and Stamps integration.
The following IMS services will see little to no changes in January 2017:
"STANDARD" Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) and Priority Mail International (PMI) 
  • Because of restructured rates, some customers will see a very slight increase, some will see a slight decrease in pricing as determined by weight and destination country.
  • IMS all-inclusive rates will save customers up to 38% (PMEI) or 25% (PMI) compared to Retail.
  • Fully trackable.
  • Endicia and Stamps integration.
"DROP SHIP" Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) and Priority Mail International (PMI)
  • No changes to pricing for January 2017.

  • Packages must fit into a standard USPS mail sack.
  • IMS all-inclusive rates will save customer up to 55% (PMEI) or 40% (PMI) compared to Retail.
  • Fully trackable.
  • Endicia and Stamps integration.


Canada Post
Canada Post changes will be effective January 16, 2017.  IMS does not publish direct entry rates as they are based on volume and the current exchange ratePlease contact us if you want updated pricing or a quote on a new project.

Global delivery Shipping and international package sending as a world parcel concept made of a mountain of cardboard boxes as a volcanoe with a group of flags as a symbol of fast service.The United States Postal Service (USPS) has just introduced new service options for consolidated volumes of PMEI and PMI packages.  "Priority Mail Express International Presort Drop Shipment" and "Priority Mail International Presort Drop Shipment" services (aka PMEI & PMI Drop Ship) are brand new and very aggressively priced to compete.  Combined with IMS integration, you get the absolute best of both worlds - ease of use and the lowest rates ever!  Some highlights include:

  • IMS all-inclusive rates will save 35-55% compared to PMEI-PMI Retail (depending on volume, package weight, and country destination).
  • Maximum package weights of 66-70 lbs (to most countries).
  • Door to door tracking at www.usps.com.
  • Low minimum volume requirements.
  • Consistent delivery via the most reliable network in the world.

Most are aware of our very popular "Commercial ePacket" service that includes door to door tracking to 29 of the most popular countries (just added Hong Kong this month).  One of the limitations however, is the 4.4 lb maximum package weight.  This is where the new Drop Ship services will compliment perfectly as the weight limit is 66-70 lbs (most countries) along with the availability to most countries worldwide.

All of the above services are available to either Endicia or Stamps.com PC postage subscribers.  Once integrated with IMS, you can choose all "consolidator services" right from the international menu.  IMS customers can also print the PMEI and PMI labels directly from our web portal (just as current).

I know discounts of this kind are unprecedented in our industry and that's why we're so excited to bring this to our customers!  Keep in mind that if you work closely with a USPS Account Manager we can make joint calls (as USPS "Postal Qualified Wholesalers").  We really value our relationships with the USPS and are happy to team up whenever possible.

Please contact me - I'd be happy to discuss and offer an analysis of your international parcel costs and show you what we could offer.  Thanks in advance, I look forward to hearing from you!

Mark Bouman, Business Development

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First increase in three years for First-Class Mail Forever Stamps

October 12, 2016 

http://www.facebook.com/uspsspacerTwitter @USPS

WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service today filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for Mailing Services products to take effect next year, following the end of the holiday mailing season. The new prices, if approved, include a two cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, returning the price to 49 cents, the price of a Forever stamp before the Postal Service was forced to reduce prices by the PRC as part of the exigent surcharge removal.

The last time stamp prices increased was in January 2014. Today’s price change filing does not include any price change for Postcards, for letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for letters.

The First-Class Mail prices for these products are:  

  Current     New
Letters (1 oz.)    47 cents  49 cents
Letters additional ounces      21 cents   21 cents
Letters to all international destinations   $1.15     $1.15
Postcards    34 cents 34 cents

Stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation since the Postal Service was formed in 1971.

Pricing for Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services will also be adjusted next year and can be found at www.prc.gov. The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to become effective on Jan. 22, 2017. Today’s filing does not affect Postal Service Shipping products and services.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.