As you may remember, changes within the Universal Postal Union (UPU) were negotiated last fall to effectively change the process for member countries to compensate each other for inbound/outbound mail and parcel volumes.  This was originally projected to be a 5 year plan beginning July 1, 2020.  With that date quickly approaching, we just received the new postage rates and will need time to digest and create new rate tables along with all that goes into making the changes.  We hope to be able to communicate the new rates within a couple of weeks. 

I also want to mention what I know about upcoming changes to the Commercial ePacket service.  Currently, there are 36 countries and the USPS is seeking individual agreements with those countries but suffice to say that there will be a significant decrease in the number of countries on the list.  As of this date, there are 14 signed agreements (including Canada) and more will be added but we just don't know who or how many as negotiations are ongoing through July 1 and beyond.  We will do our best to update all customers as new information becomes available.

We fully realize that this has been an incredibly difficult time for the entire industry as deliveries have been adversely affected worldwide by COVID-19 related issues.  So we at IMS understand that the timing of this announcement flat out stinks to put it bluntly.  We'll provide updates as soon as possible. 

As most are aware, the United States demanded reform throughout the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to allow countries to self declare rates - this was agreed upon during the "Extraordinary Congress" held in September 2019.  The United States Postal Service (USPS) will begin self declaring rates on July 1, 2020.  The bulk of rate changes for IMS services through the USPS will take effect then.    
IMPORTANT:  The only postage rate change for IMS services on January 26, 2020 will impact the Commercial ePacket service to Canada.  These new rates will be emailed to those customers using the ePacket service within the next week or so. 
All other rates for IMS / USPS services (PMEI, PMI, IPA, ISAL, and the non-Canadian ePacket rate groups) will remain unchanged till July, 2020.  We'll update customers  as soon as we get a clear picture of the rates.  
CANADA POST rates will increase slightly on January 13, 2020 for most services.  We'll update pricing tables as needed for those customers using these services over the next week or two.  We can also update current quotes as requested.   

As most already know, the USPS traditionally increases postage rates in January and this year is no different.  These rates will go into effect on January 27, 2019.  All of the domestic and international rates can be found here.

Note: Rates for most IMS services will change on January 21, 2019.  Our Negotiated Service Agreements (NSA's) do not run concurrent with USPS Retail rate changes.  A summary of the changes to IMS services as follows:

  • Commercial ePacket (CeP):  NO CHANGES AT THIS TIME
  • International Priority Airmail (IPA):  Rates will increase an average of 2-4% (depending on class)
  • International Surface Air Lift (ISAL):  Rates will increase an average of 3-5% (depending on class)   
  • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) Drop Ship:  Rates will increase an average of 2.6%
  • Priority Mail International (PMI) Drop Ship:  Rates actually will decrease an average of 1%
  • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) Standard:  Rates will increase an average of 5.8%
  • Priority Mail International (PMI) Standard:  Rates will increase an average of 1%
  • IBRS Canada Small Package Return:  NO CHANGES AT THIS TIME


Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like quotes updated or if any questions.

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)