Last month, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced a price increase, that if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), would be implemented on January 21, 2018.
The new price schedule includes increases to competitive products, market dominant products, and letter mail. Kurt Ruppel, Director of Postal Policy and Marketing Communications at IWCO Direct, does a great job of breaking down the increases per category. Click the link for the article, or see the highlights here.
Impact on Competitive Products
Competitive postal products include expedited services like Priority Mail, parcel shipping services, and international mail options such as International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL). These products will generally see a 3.9% price increase, with the Postal Service’s bulk ground shipping products Parcel Select (4.9%) and Parcel Select Lightweight (7%) seeing the highest increases.
2018 Postage Rates for Market Dominant Products
Market dominant postal products include First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail (formerly known as Standard Mail), as well as Periodicals, and are the rates most often used by marketers. Increases in these rates are controlled by an inflation-based price cap applied at the class level. This means that although the average increase for both Marketing Mail and First-Class Mail is about 1.9%, individual rate cells within each class can see changes that vary from the average as long as the result is within the rate cap when they are combined with all other mail in that class.
Looking More Closely at Letter Mail
First-Class Mail commercial letter rates are increasing about 1.25%, while single-piece rates are up a little over 2%. The number that will be in the news is that a Forever Stamp will now cost 50¢.
Keep in mind, the USPS “proposes” their new pricing, but the PRC must approve the pricing before it can become official.
Historically the PRC has denied or adjusted price increases if the USPS attempts to raise prices too high compared with the current consumer price index (CPI). In this case the USPS is only raising rates by 1.9% which is believed to be accepted by the PRC.
In the meantime of their decision, take a closer look at the rate changes below.
The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:
The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail price changes are: