USPS to raise retail Priority Mail rates, lower commercial rates

From the US Postal Service:

WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service today filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to change Priority Mail prices, including a reduction in prices on average for businesses and other customers who use Commercial Plus and Commercial Base online shipping services. The price change will include a modest increase for Priority Mail prices at Post Offices and other postal retail outlets. The proposed changes, which would go into effect in September 2014, are intended to offer more competitive pricing and build on Priority Mail’s popularity with customers.

“The Postal Service is a vital business partner for small and large businesses and lowering shipping prices will save them money and improve their bottom line,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing/sales officer. “With our affordable shipping options, we hope to attract new business customers and become their preferred delivery service.”

Both Commercial Base and Commercial Plus prices will be reduced on average, with most of the decreases concentrated in the ground zones weighing between 7-16 pounds. Price for Commercial Base customers will be reduced on average by 0.9 percent, and prices for Commercial Plus customers will decline on average 2.3 percent.

“Unlike others in the shipping industry, the Postal Service is not implementing any new dimensional-weight charges, continuing our commitment to deliver the best value for our customers,” said Manabe.

The Postal Service will continue to offer Priority Mail customers free insurance, expected delivery day, flat-rate packaging options and Regional Rate Boxes. Priority Mail is one of the Postal Service’s most popular shipping products, helping to boost USPS package volumes and meet customers’ needs for convenience at competitive prices. Last year, 871 million pieces were shipped through Priority Mail.

“With the Postal Service, there are no shipping surcharges. We deliver on Saturdays for no extra charge, we pick up packages for free, and we deliver shipping boxes and envelopes, also for free. Just a few more ways we help businesses get the most out of their shipping*,” stated Manabe.

Commercial Base Pricing does not have any volume requirements and these reduced rates are available for customers who use Click-N-Ship, PC Postage products, permit imprints, or digital mailing systems (meters) that generate an IBI (Information Based Indicia) and submit data electronically to the USPS.**

Eligibility for Commercial Plus Pricing is based primarily on shipping volume. For Priority Mail, 50,000 pieces are required within the prior year. In lieu of past volume, customers can instead complete a customer commitment agreement.

Pricing at Post Offices and other retail outlets will have a modest increase of 1.7 percent on average.
Highlights of the new proposed retail pricing for Priority Mail products include:

  • Small box – $5.95
  • Medium box – $12.65
  • Large box – $17.90
  • Large APO/FPO box – $15.90
  • Regular envelope – $5.75
  • Legal envelope – $5.90
  • Padded envelope – $6.10

Priority Mail is the Postal Service’s flagship Shipping Services product, accounting for $6.4 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2013. It’s a convenient and fast way to send documents and packages requiring expedited transportation and handling.

The PRC will review the prices before they become effective Sept. 7, 2014, and must agree the prices are consistent with applicable law.3 The new price proposals will be available on the PRC website at www.prc.gov.

The pricing adjustments are part of a broader strategy to position the Postal Service for the future. USPS is also streamlining its mail processing operations, which will allow the organization to invest in new package sorting equipment and other upgrades, as it continues to seek legislative changes to update its business model.

* Except when Saturday is a national holiday. For details on free Package Pickup, visit usps.com/pickup; Available with the U.S. For use with Priority Mail, and Priority Mail International shipping. Boxes are delivered with our regular mail usually within 7 to 10 business days. To order, visit store.usps.com/store.
** Visit USPS.com or call your USPS sales consultant for eligibility requirements.

Tech publishers group blasts USPS exigency rate increase

Trade Group will Explore Options to Appeal or Limit this Unjustified Increase in 2014.

siia_logoWashington, DC, January 09, 2014 –(PR.com)– On December 24, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) voted 2-1 to approve an exigent, or “emergency,” postage rate increase of 4.3 percent, the full amount requested in September by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). This increase is to be applied in addition to the CPI increase of 1.7 percent, totaling a 6 percent increase for periodicals. In response, SIIA President Ken Wasch issued the following statement:

“We remain very disappointed that the PRC has continued to ignore the lack of discipline, efficiency and overall fiscal responsibility of the USPS, and instead chose to place a continued and unjustified rate increase on the B2B industry. While the PRC at least had the good judgment to reject the USPS request to make this a permanent increase, we will begin 2014 assessing the opportunities to appeal or further limit the duration of this harmful increase.”

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the leading trade associations representing technology, digital content, media and information companies, including those that publish business-to-business industry magazines and newsletters. Our membership is comprised of more than 700 members who publish more than 600 print periodical titles and mails approximately 800 million magazines and newsletters each year, representing approximately 15% of the periodicals class within the US Postal Service. In addition, SIIA members utilize first-class and standard mail extensively and collectively spend an estimated $260 million in postage each year. In November, SIIA submitted comments to the PRC outlining reasons why the exigent increase should not be approved.

PBS Newshour video: Is the postal service going the way of the pony express?

The U.S. Post Office announced that the price of a first class stamp will rise from 46 to 49 cents in late January. Rising costs and diminishing usage may endanger future of mail delivery. Canada is phasing out urban delivery service in the next few years.

Read more: Is the postal service going the way of the pony express? | PBS NewsHour | Dec. 29, 2013 | PBS.

PRC approves exigent rate increase- but only temporarily

prcThe Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the US Postal Service’s request for an “exigent” rate increase (to 49 cents for a one ounce letter) to make up for revenue lost due to the recession. Because the rate hike is related to a temporary economic fluctuation, however, the rate increase is also temporary. How temporary? The PRC doesn’t say. However, the decision requires the USPS to develop a plan for rescinding the rate increase as soon as it has recovered the “lost” income. The PRC says that will happen within two years.

Here’s the PRC summary of its decision: Continue reading PRC approves exigent rate increase- but only temporarily

Video: Sen. Tammy Baldwin talks postal reform at Quad/Graphics

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Stamp prices are about to spike again, and while it’s a pain for the average person — it could be an even bigger problem for Wisconsin employers.

That’s why Sen. Tammy Baldwin is trying to rally support for a big change to the postal reform bill.

On Wednesday, December 4th, she met with leaders at Quad/Graphics — one of the biggest printers in the state.

They say if postage prices continue to climb, it’ll be the start of a chain reaction.

Read more: Sen. Tammy Baldwin talks postal reform at Quad/Graphics | FOX6Now.com.