Alaska News

Alaska USPS shipping rates could see significant increases next year

Alaskans could pay significantly more next year for certain shipping services due to two price increases planned by the U.S. Postal Service.

In an attempt to reverse a projected $160 billion loss over the next 10 years, the postal service announced it was planning a 5.7% average price hike in 2024 for some shipping options. An online notice states that customers using USPS Ground Advantage for shipping within Alaska would see a 9.2% average increase.

The price increases are set to take effect Jan. 21, but some Alaska shipping rates from Outside could then rise again starting in July.

USPS uses shipping zones to measure the distance a package travels for certain shipping options. Effectively, the greater the distance, the higher the price.

Last month, the Postal Service announced that it is planning to establish a new postal Zone 10, which would encompass Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico. The new postal zone would see a price hike, but it would not be across the board.

Mail sent to Alaska would be affected by the higher prices. Mail sent from Alaska to the Lower 48 would not. Mail sent from Alaska to Hawaii and U.S. territories would be affected.

The higher prices would apply to Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail and USPS Ground Advantage. They would not apply to flat rate shipping.


Most destinations that Alaskans receive mail from in the Lower 48 fall under Zone 8 pricing. The Postal Service stated that Zone 10 prices are intended to be 5% higher than Zone 8 prices after January’s rate increase, according to a notice filed online.

A package that weighs half a pound and is mailed from New York City to Anchorage using Priority Mail Express would currently fall under Zone 8 prices and cost $43.70. After the January price hike and the establishment of Zone 10, the same package would cost $48.60 — an 11% increase.

Packages that travel shorter distances to Alaska from the Lower 48 would see higher rate increases. A package that weighs half a pound and is sent from Seattle to Anchorage with Priority Mail Express would go from Zone 6 to Zone 10 prices, and increase from $38.15 today to $48.60 in July — a 27% price hike.

In an online notice, USPS stated that the new postal Zone 10 would align the Postal Service with its competitors “who currently have separate zones for offshore destinations.”

“The Postal Service recognizes the possibility that customers or representatives of certain offshore locations may voice concerns regarding the impact of price increases from the establishment of Zone 10 pricing,” the notices states. “However, the Postal Service will continue to offer the lowest published prices in the industry for these destinations.”

James Boxrud, a spokesperson for USPS, said that the plan to establish a new offshore postal zone is part of the Delivering for America plan, referring to the Postal Service’s 10-year goal to reverse projected multibillion-dollar losses.

Alaska’s congressional delegation is set to join with representatives from Hawaii and U.S. territories to request that the Postal Regulatory Commission reject the establishment of a new postal zone. Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said that he would meet with U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy soon to voice his concerns.

“This proposed increase in rates for Alaska and other non-contiguous states and territories is outrageous. No state, including Alaska, should be punished by our own federal government because of geography,” Sullivan said in a prepared statement. “These hikes have the potential to severely negatively impact Alaskans — already reeling from inflation — who are more reliant on the USPS for basic goods and services than other Americans.”

In 2020, DeJoy floated a plan to cut funding for Alaska’s bypass mail program, which reduces costs for cargo shipments to rural Alaska. The idea was shelved after the newly appointed postmaster general heard concerns from Alaska’s congressional delegation.

Anyone wishing to comment on the plan to establish a new postal zone for Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories can head to the Postal Regulatory Commission website at Click on the “file online” tab under the “how to participate” dropdown menu. Click on “access E-filing,” create an account and file a comment on Docket No. CP2024-72.

The deadline to submit a comment has been extended to Jan. 4.

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Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire is a politics and general assignment reporter for the Anchorage Daily News based in Juneau. He previously reported from Juneau for Alaska's News Source. Contact him at