US Postal Service rate changes green lit for May 31
Regulators in the United States have finally approved price changes for all of the US Postal Service’s monopoly mail services. USPS had proposed a near-2% increase in its market dominant service rates back in January, but the Postal Regulatory Commission sent back proposals for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services for revision.
Yesterday the President and Congressionally appointed Commission approved the price changes, which are now due to take effect from the end of this month (31 May 2015).
The Postal Service had delayed increases to prices for First Class Mail and Special Services, which had been approved by the Commission, so that all price changes would take place at the same time. It means these services will also see rate increases at the end of this month.
The regulator said revisions to the price proposals, including changes to workshare discounts, meant they now comply with US postal law and do not break the price cap.
The order does require the Postal Service provide additional information on its calculations involved in determining workshare discounts for presorted flats and some presorted Standard Mail and Periodicals.
The Postal Service believes its price increases will bring in about $400m in additional revenue in the rest of this financial year, which runs until the end of September, and $900m over the next 12 months.
Rate changes among the five major service classes are to include an average 1.949% increase for First-Class Mail, 1.926% increase for Standard Mail, 1.966% increase for Periodicals, and a 1.787% increase for Package Services.
Single-piece one-ounce stamped First Class Mail letters are set to remain at 49 cents, with Forever Stamps also frozen at 49 cents. Additional ounce rates for letters will rise by one cent to 22c, with letters to all international destinations rising by 5c (4.3%) to $1.20, and postcard rates rising by a cent to 35c.
Metered single-piece letters will see prices rise by half a cent (1.1%) to 46.5c.