Postmaster Announces Price Increases
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe signaled a new direction in continuing to improve customer relations within the mailing industry by consulting with industry representatives on the effective date for new prices and by relaxing some guidelines on implementing Intelligent Mail services.
"Working together as an industry we can address continuing economic challenges in a way that allows the postal service to generate much needed revenue while being more responsive to ongoing customer needs," Donahoe said.
The Postal Service filed new mailing service prices with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Price increases are limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap of 1.7 percent, consistent with the Postal Law of 2006. Actual percentage price increases for various products and services will vary. It has been nearly two years since the last increase.
After consulting with key industry association representatives, the new prices would become effective on April 17, giving the mailing community more than 90 days to make the necessary technology and system changes to accurately handle the new prices.
"We heard concerns that we were moving too fast on discontinuing POSTNET coding, and we will continue to offer the automation prices for mail with POSTNET barcodes beyond May 2011," Donahoe said.
Donahoe emphasized the value of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to mailers and reiterating the Postal Service commitment to implementing the IMb. To date, more than 41 billion pieces of mail have been processed using the IMb.
Recognizing ongoing industry concerns with challenges associated with implementing the IMb, Donahoe announced that mailers can continue to use POSTNET barcodes to qualify for automation discounts. The POSTNET code was to sunset this May to enable broad adoption and use of the IMb. There will be no Full Service Address Change Service (ACS) charges.
Single-piece, 1-ounce First-Class letters will remain 44 cents with additional ounces increased to 20 cents. The price for mailing a postcard will increase one cent. The overall increase is capped at 1.741 percent - at or below the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. More detailed pricing information will be available later today online at www.usps.com/prices. This does not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail prices.