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rate increase

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: Read the rest of this entry »

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.

PRC Approves USPS Rate Increase; Implementation of Full Service IMb Remanded

prcWashington, DC -Today, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued its decision in Order 1890 on the Postal Service’s request to increase prices January 26, 2014. The Commission determined that the rates proposed by the Postal Service are consistent with the law, provided that the Postal Service does not implement Full Service IMb requirements concurrently with the proposed increased rates.

Full Service IMb requires each piece of mail, each bundle, and each pallet to have a unique identity barcode. The Commission determined that Full Service IMb mail preparation requirements are a classification change and that its effects must be included in its calculation of the percentage change in rates. Read the rest of this entry »

USPS to increase shipping prices 2.4% in January

WASHINGTON — When new Postal Service Shipping Services prices take effect in January, customers will see an overall price increase of 2.4 percent.

In addition, Postal Service customers will have a new delivery choice for domestic Priority Mail Express in 2014. The new delivery service option will allow customers to send domestic Priority Mail Express packages to most locations in the U.S. by 10:30 a.m. for an extra $5.00 fee. Domestic Priority Mail Express is a fast, reliable service which offers day-specific delivery information, up to $100 free insurance and free package tracking.

Highlights of the new retail pricing for domestic Priority Mail Express products include:

  • Retail Flat Rate, Padded Flat Rate and Legal Flat Rate envelopes — $19.99
  • Flat Rate Boxes — $44.95

Domestic pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products will remain affordable in 2014, with retail prices starting as low as $5.60.

Most domestic Priority Mail products qualify for free insurance up to $50 or $100, and one, two or three date-specific delivery is based on destination ZIP Code. Improved USPS Tracking makes it easier to see packages at pick up, confirmed final delivery and many points in between.

“The Postal Service remains the best in value in the shipping business,” said Nagisa Manabe, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer. “We continue to offer excellent domestic Flat Rate shipping with a price that doesn’t vary by destination.”

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective on Jan. 26, 2014. Today’s Shipping Services price filing will be available on the PRC website at www.prc.gov.

Susan Collins says USPS exigent rate request not authorized by PAEA

Sen_Susan_Collins_officialMaine Senator Susan Collins R-ME has submitted a letter to the Postal Regulatory Commission outlining her opposition to the US Postal Service’s “exigent” rate request. Collins argues that the USPS’s revenue losses “result from the effects of electronic diversion” rather than the recession, as the USPS claims. Collins says the PAEA law, which she authored, does not allow for an above-CPI rate increase based on electronic diversion, and asks the PRC to reject the request: Read the rest of this entry »

Return of the Forever Stamp Get Rich Quick Myth

Quartz, which bills itself as “a digitally native news outlet for business people in the new global economy”, has an article explaining how you can make a whole lot of money buying and selling forever stamps, prompted by last week’s USPS announcement of a three cent price increase.

Yesterday, the US Postal Service (USPS) made a strange announcement: anybody who wants to turn a quick profit at its expense will have an opportunity to do so come January.

And of course, the “opportunity” consists of buying a lot of forever stamps for 46 cents now, and selling them for something more than that come January. It’s an interesting thought experiment- after all, in theory you could buy a million forever stamps the day before the price increase, and 24 hours later they will have increased in value by 6.5%. Not a bad profit!

In theory. Read the rest of this entry »

US mailers promise legal battle against USPS rate increase

US mailers have vowed to fight tooth and nail against the four-times-inflation postal rate increases being proposed by the Postal Service.

USPS announced plans to charge businesses 5.9% more to deliver their mail from 26 January, 2014, a 4.3% increase above the rate of inflation.

US mailers said yesterday they will challenge the rate rise request through the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Presidentially-appointed five-member panel that regulates the US postal industry.

Read more: US mailers promise legal battle against USPS rate increase | Post & Parcel.

Affordable Mail Alliance Stands United in Opposition to Exigent Rate Increase

Washington, D.C. – September 26, 2013 – Today the Affordable Mail Alliance (AMA), a broad coalition of postal customers and suppliers, announced its deep disappointment in the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors’ decision to formally request an “exigent” postal rate increase that, if approved, would result in an average January 2014 postage hike of just under six percent, almost four times the rate of inflation. They also voiced their united determination to oppose the request at the independent Postal Regulatory Commission. Read the rest of this entry »