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.

American Forest & Paper Association Opposes USPS Postal Rate Increase Plan

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors’ directive for a proposed 5.9 percent across the board postal rate increase for 2014.

“Today’s announcement of a 5.9 percent postal rate increase is more than troubling. The critical problems of overcapacity and falling demand for mail cannot be solved by raising prices.”

“AF&PA believes the USPS is relying on an outdated and inelastic pricing model to justify this rate increase. Postal rate increases above inflation will drive customers away and further accelerate the decline in mail volume.

“Approximately one-third, or $6 billion of printing and writing paper produced in the U.S. is delivered through the mail system. Today’s decision is not the answer. An exigent rate increase would negatively affect consumers, as well as threaten the future reliance on mail as a competitive option for paper-based communication and commerce.

“AF&PA urges Congress to adopt postal reforms that ensure the fiscal viability of the USPS by reducing operations and labor costs, eliminate unreasonable financial obligations while ensuring that mail is a cost competitive option for business communications. Current law provisions limiting rate increases to inflation are an important component of the law and should be retained.”

Read more: AF&PA Opposes USPS Postal Rate Increase Plan.

NALC: Few surprises in first of two hearings on S. 1486

NALC-LOGOSept. 19, 2013—The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which has Postal Service oversight, held the first of two hearings today on the flawed postal bill, S. 1486, introduced by committee chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

“If passed, this bill would set the Postal Service on downward spiral,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “by calling for the slow dismantling of Postal Service’s retail, mail processing and last-mile delivery networks that are crucial for the booming e-commerce sector, while maintaining the misguided 2006 postal reform law mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefit costs decades in advance.”

Today’s 2½-hour hearing focused mainly on rates and revenue. Among those called to testify before today’s hearing were Postmaster General Patrick Donahue, Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway, USPS Inspector General David Williams, American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Jeanette Dwyer.

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Stamp prices go up January 27

From the US Postal Service:

Effective Jan. 27, new prices will go into effect for some USPS products and services.

The new prices for First-Class Mail and service pricing include:

  • First-Class Mail, one ounce: 46 cents
  • First-Class Mail postcard: 33 cents
  • Stamped postcards: 37 cents
  • Electronic Return Receipt: $1.25.
  • Certificate of mailing: $1.20

New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products:

  • Small box: $5.80
  • Medium box: $12.35
  • Large box: $16.85
  • Large APO/FPO box: $14.85
  • Regular envelope: $5.60
  • Legal envelope: $5.75
  • Padded envelope: $5.95

globalforeverOther changes include a new offering — a First-Class Mail Global Forever stamp that will allow customers to mail letters up to two ounces to Canada and up to one ounce anywhere else in the world for a set price of $1.10.

Customers can obtain lower prices for Priority Mail and other types of expedited products when purchasing them online.

A complete list of new prices with additional information is available here.