Postal Regulatory Commission Approves USPS Price Hikes
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved requests from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to increase prices on certain services last week.
The USPS had asked to raise prices for first-class mail and competitive products in addition to some classification changes. All measures will go in effect April 26.
While the Forever Stamp will remain 49 cents, each additional ounce will cost 22 cents, an increase of 1 cent per ounce. Postcards will increase to 35 cents. For international mail, outbound first class mail will increase 5 cents to $1.20 while non-machinable outbound first-class mail will increase to $1.42. Outbound postcards will increase to $1.20.
For packages, USPS has decided not to use dimensional weight pricing, but requested an average of 3.4 percent increase. Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail domestic services will not be affected by the price increases.
Currently, competitive products must cover their attributable costs and pay 5.5 percent of institutional costs, and PRC agreed that USPS’ proposed increases align with those requirements.
Competitive products will affect rates for Parcel Select (9.8 percent increase on average), parcel return service (4.8 percent increase on average), first-class package service (5.1 percent increase, which could increase further if PRC approves reclassification), Standard Post (11.3 percent increase on average) and extra services (5.9 percent increase) domestically, according to Post and Parcel.
For international service, affected products include Priority Mail International (5.5 percent increase), International Priority Airmail (4.5 percent increase), Airmail M-bags (6.8 percent increase) and First-Class Package International Service (7.2 percent increase).
USPS has estimated the first set of changes will increase revenue by $400 million this year, with competitive service adding $315 million more, according to Post and Parcel.
"In the postal world, we've been hearing nothing but bad news,” Robert Taub, PRC acting chairman, said. "I want to highlight, there is good news and strength in our system. The Postal Service as you all know, is a key cog of a marketing and distribution system through which small and large businesses, nonprofit organizations, and consumers can transact business, advertise services and distribute products.”
Related story: USPS Seeks to Increase First-class Mail Rates