What do knee-high boots and the new postage tariffs have in common?

Since the postal rate changes on 2nd April we’ve seen a lot of concern from small businesses and in the press regarding what the financial impact of the price changes will be. There’s also been a lot of confusion and since the launch many have been trying to understand what the new sizes mean. That’s where the knee-high boots come in, but I’ll come onto that.

Put simply, stamp prices for letters and large letters haven’t changed, the packet rate has been abolished and a two tier parcel system has replaced it.

These two tiers of small parcels and medium parcels respectively offer two standard maximum sizes of postage with a scale of pricing dependent on the weight of the item.

I’ve looked at the dimensions and I’ve been trying to think of an equivalent standard box size to help people visualise it. The small parcel size is quite a large box size that doesn’t have that much depth (45cm in length by 35cm in width and 8cm in depth). So the length and width are bigger than a standard shoe box, but the depth is a few centimetres smaller. The maximum weight for this size is 2kg, so it’s suitable for sending clothes and smaller gifts.

The medium parcel size is much bigger (61cm length by 46cm width and 46cm depth) so it is slightly longer than a knee-high boot box but much wider and deeper.

It is mainly those that are sending these larger “medium” classified parcels that will see an adverse change in pricing as the rate for this is almost double the previous packet service rate. There has been a lot of concern that this may affect smaller businesses particularly small internet retailers.

However, these users could really benefit from switching to stamps to franked mail. Any company that sends out more than 4 parcels a day could make healthy savings on postage from using a franking machine. Entry level franking machines can be rented from just 82p a day. Not only does using a franking machine save users money, it also saves time spent at the post office and provides a more professional appearance to packages.

Additionally what many don’t realise is that parcels sent via Parcelforce can also be paid for via a franking machine.

In visiting companies over the last week or so it seems that many were confused about the old rates let alone the new ones. As many as 50% of those visited were found to have been using a higher postal rate on parcels than was required. Therefore, just having a mailroom expert in for a chat for an hour has led to savings.

At Totalpost we pride ourselves on providing impartial mailroom advice. When we visit a company that hasn’t used a franking machine before the first thing we do is a mail audit to assess how much mail they are sending and whether they are sending these items at the correct rates. We then advise on whether franked or stamped services are most appropriate for their business.

If you’re a business that wants to find out more about the postage rates don’t be afraid to seek advice from the experts. You definitely won’t be alone in being confused over the new rates.

To find out more email mark@totalpost.com or give us a call on Tel: 0845 4900360


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