PRC approves postal rate hikes

Washington, DC – Today the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the U.S. Postal Service’s request to raise prices for market dominant products finding that the new prices are at or below the Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap of 2.570 percent and meet all other statutory requirements.

There is one exception. In reviewing the price proposals for compliance with Commission directives and orders, the Commission found that the Postal Service’s proposed Standard Mail Flats prices fail to satisfy the applicable directives given to the Postal Service in the FY 2010 Annual Compliance Determination. The Commission has remanded the Standard Mail rates to the Postal Service for compliance with its longstanding Order.

The Commission has granted the Service 10 days to decide on its own how to modify its Standard Mail prices. The Commission will also allow an opportunity for the public to provide comments on the revisions the Postal Service proposes.

Price increases will affect rates for all market dominant products: First‐Class Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and Special Services. Single‐piece First‐Class Mail will increase from 45 cents to 46 cents. The price of a postcard will increase from 32 cents to 33 cents. The new International Forever Stamp will cost $1.10. The Commission also approved several mail classification changes that primarily affect Special Services.

In a separate decision on November 8, 2012, the Commission gave approval for increases in mail products that compete in the market place. Priority Mail products will rise an average of 6.3 percent and Express Mail will increase 5.8 percent overall.

The new prices will go into effect January 27, 2013.
The Commission’s Order is available on the PRC website at Order No. 1541 and includes a partial dissent by Commissioner Robert Taub.

Reminder: US postage rates go up Sunday

From the US Postal Service:

On Jan. 22, prices for most USPS Mailing and Shipping Services change. Mailing Services includes domestic and international First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services.

Highlights include a 1-cent increase to 45-cents in the price of a First-Class Mail stamp and a 3-cent increase to 32-cents in the price of a postcard. The additional ounce rate for single-piece letters remains unchanged at 20-cents. For PO Box customers, a new shorter time period, a 3-month pricing option, is available.

Click here for more information on Mailing Service price changes.

Prices for domestic and international Shipping Services also changed. Shipping Services include Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, and other competitive products.

Priority Mail prices increased by an average of 3.1 percent and Express Mail prices increased by an average of 3.4 percent.

Click here for more information on Shipping Services price changes.


USPS announces 4.6% increase in shipping rates for 2012, Express Mail Flat Rate Box

WASHINGTON — Postal Service customers will be able ship a box for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs) starting Jan. 22, 2012. That’s when the Express Mail Flat Rate Box debuts and new Shipping Services prices take effect.

“The introduction of the Express Mail Flat Rate Box leverages the success of our Priority Mail Flat Rate advertising campaign and further positions the Postal Service as the best value in the shipping business,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer. The new box, priced at $39.95, for domestic mailing, will be available for customers who need overnight service for items larger than what can be placed in an Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope.

Other Express Mail changes include lower retail prices for half- and one-pound packages and commercial packages to local and close-in areas. The new retail price for the Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope is $18.95.

The overall price change for all Shipping Services is 4.6 percent, with Priority Mail prices increasing an average 3.1 percent and Express Mail prices increasing an average 3.3 percent. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective Jan. 22, 2012, the same day Postal Service Mailing Services prices take effect. Today’s Shipping Services price filing will be available on the PRC website at and the new Mailing Services prices are available at

New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

  • Small box — $5.35
  • Medium box — $11.35
  • Large box — $15.45
  • Large APO/FPO/DPO box — $13.45
  • Regular envelope — $5.15
  • Legal-size and Padded envelope — $5.30

Commercial base Priority Mail pricing will offer an average 6.8 percent discount off retail prices for customers using online and other authorized postage payment methods. A new, larger Regional Rate Box C (12” x 12” x 15”) will be added to the existing two sizes. If any of the three Regional Rate Boxes is entered at retail, a 75-cent additional charge will be applied.

Also new for 2012 is Package Intercept for commercial mailers, available through a customer interface on Business Customer Gateway. For $10.95 plus Priority Mail postage, customers can request mail be intercepted before final delivery is attempted to the initial delivery address. The shipment can be returned to sender, held for pick up at a Post Office, or redirected to an alternate address. Intercepted packages are shipped using Priority Mail.

First-Class Package Service (formerly known as First-Class Mail commercial parcels and now a Shipping Services product) will see an overall price increase of 3.7 percent. The Intelligent Mail package barcode will provide free visibility to these parcels.

Prices will also be adjusted for other Shipping Services products and services, including Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, International Mail, Premium Forwarding Service and Post Office Box Service.

via Postal Service Announces Shipping Prices for 2012.

DMA tells members “Your Business is Being Threatened” by USPS exigent rate case

The Direct Marketing Association has sent the following letter to its members:

Dear DMA Member,

Your Business is Being Threatened.

On Monday, the United States Postal Service (USPS) told the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) that it will pursue its request for exigent – above inflation – postage increases. These increases would be above and beyond the already scheduled 2.1 percent increase set to take effect on January 22, 2012.

DMA believes that the future of the US Mail depends upon forward thinking. Rather than digging up the past, USPS should be looking forward and right-sizing its network, transportation, and employee complement. DMA immediately urged the PRC to reject the USPS’ plan, which relies upon old data and failed logic to support driving postage higher. This is not the time to drive more mail from the system.

On your behalf, DMA has already fought – and won – this battle once in 2010. Now we’re gearing up to win it for you once again. DMA successfully opposed the previous exigent case on the grounds that the circumstances didn’t warrant an exigent rate hike and that such a hike would in fact drive more mail out of the system at a time when USPS should be removing excess capacity.

Every step of the way, DMA has kept its members up to speed on the fast-moving postal debate. Our very own Direct from Washington e-newsletter delivers comprehensive information weekly. You have also had the opportunity to speak directly with postal policymakers through our “Postal Perspectives” Webinar Series, which focuses on the tough decisions and significant changes that must be made to improve the fiscal health of the USPS. These informal conversations with the policymakers at the center of the postal debate give you the opportunity to hear exactly what the experts are thinking about the future of USPS.

In addition to fighting rate increases at the PRC, DMA has been working hard to make sure that postal legislation in Congress safeguards the interests of all DMA members. We continue to work closely with key policymakers – on both sides of Capitol Hill, and both sides of the political aisle – and our efforts are really paying off.

  • Just yesterday afternoon, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee voted to send the “21st Century Postal Service Act” to the Senate floor. When this bipartisan bill was introduced last week, it failed to properly protect catalog products from steep and immediate postage increases. DMA worked with key leaders in the Senate to create a provision that safeguards catalogs appropriately before the bill was passed out of the Committee.
  • DMA was also successful in fighting two proposed amendments that would have required USPS to create a national “Do Not Mail” program. Because of our efforts, these amendments were not even considered by the Committee.
  • We are also fighting to defend the lifeblood of nonprofit mailers. DMA was able to keep a harmful provision that would have slashed the nonprofit rate preference from being introduced in the Senate. We are also fighting hard to have a similar provision removed from legislation being considered in the House.

We are not resting on our laurels. Instead, we will take to Capitol Hill next week for a special DMA Postal Hill Day on November 17 in Washington, DC. A host of DMA catalogers and DMANF nonprofit mailers will join DMA’s Government Affairs team in meetings with senior Congressional staff leading the way on postal reform in Congress.

We encourage you to join the hundreds of DMA members that have already taken “DMAAction” to support our efforts in Washington. Visit our DMAAction website today to learn how you can tell Congress to safeguard the interests of the mailing community!


Linda Woolley

EVP, Washington Operations

Direct Marketing Association