USPS Seeks to Increase First-class Mail Rates
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) stated its intent to raise the price of certain services while keeping the Forever Stamps at their current price.
USPS filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Thursday, seeking increases in several first-class mail rates. While Forever Stamps for 1oz. letters would remain 49 cents, additional ounces would increase a cent per ounce, or 22 cents per additional ounce, and letters to international destinations would go up 5 cents to $1.20. Postcards would also be a cent higher at 35 cents. No other products would be affected. These prices would go into effect April 26 upon PRC review and determination that the prices are consistent with applicable law.
The action is due to inflation, which USPS determined to be 1.966 percent, according to its filing.
"Today’s action is the latest in a series of steps the Postal Service has taken as part of a comprehensive approach to achieve financial stability," USPS said in a press release. "By growing volume, revenue and contribution, the Postal Service will continue to meet America’s mailing and shipping needs well into the future. While improving efficiency in streamlining its network and seeking legislative changes, the Postal Service must address an outdated business model."
According to The Washington Post, trade associations that represent frequent mailers have been critical of these cost increases, citing harm to businesses that depend most on USPS services.
“As postage goes up, the number of people a cataloger can reach goes down,” said Hamilton Davidson, president of the American Catalog Mailers Association. “Postage is the greatest single cost component for catalogers. It’s a huge impact.”
Peggy Hudson, senior vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association, said the plan represents “yet another attempt by the U.S. Postal Service to squeeze the direct-mail industry.” She has encouraged the commission to deny the USPS request.