U.S. Postal Service Announces Shipping Prices for 2011
Pricing for 50,000 post office boxes in 49 retail post offices will change to reflect a new pricing schedule based on their presence in areas where significant competition exists. Post office boxes at these post offices have been classified as competitive products, allowing the Postal Service to test consumer interest in enhancements to current service and help shape future offerings.
For shippers mailing regionally, an economical new Priority Mail Regional Rate Box featuring USPS-supplied packaging will be available in two sizes for commercial base and commercial plus customers. The Priority Mail Regional Rate Box offers zone-based pricing with the “If it Fits it Ships” concept and flat rates up to a maximum of 15 pounds for the cubic-size box measurement of .21 cubic feet (about the size of a large framed photo) and a maximum of 20 pounds for the cubic-size measurement of .41 cubic feet (about the size of a toaster). Volume thresholds for commercial plus customers have also been reduced.
Critical Mail is another innovative product offering for January available to commercial plus customers. Offering fast, consistent time-in-transit service for sensitive documents such as event tickets, identification cards and high-value direct mail, Critical Mail provides customers with tracking and free Delivery Confirmation. Critical Mail is a category of Priority Mail with First-Class Mail service standards. Additional extra services such as insurance and signature confirmation are also available. Critical Mail requires using USPS-supplied envelopes at a mailing cost of $3.50 for letters and $4.25 for larger, flat-size pieces.
Customers choosing online shipping solutions from the Postal Service will continue to save compared to retail prices. A complete listing of 2011 prices is available online under the www.usps.com/prices link. The new prices and product innovations are pending U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission review.
Pricing adjustments to competitive products are made each January. A plan outlining a balanced approach for the long-term viability of the Postal Service introduced on March 2 includes proposals to deliver mail five days a week rather than six, restructure prefunding requirements for future retiree health benefits, create a more flexible workforce, expand convenient customer access to products and services and drive inefficiencies out of the mail system.