The Postal Service announced on Friday that it will delay the price increase, originally planned for April 26, 2015, until adjustments for all classes of mail are approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).
While the PRC has approved proposed rates for Competitive Products (Shipping Services and International), Special Services (P.O. Boxes, Certified Mail, etc.), and First-Class Mail, it has twice remanded pricing proposals for Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Parcels back to the Postal Service to fix deficiencies in the proposed prices and shortcomings in the justification for those prices.
Current law governing postal price changes does not allow the Postal Service to impose new prices until 45 days after those prices have been submitted to the PRC for review. As we are now closer than 45 days to the proposed April 26 implementation date, the Postal Service would not be allowed to implement new Standard Mail, Periodical or Parcel rates on that date, even if a corrected proposal is approved by the PRC before then.
As a consequence, the Postal Service will wait until all proposed prices are approved by the PRC, and then implement all pricing changes concurrently. In its announcement the agency commented, “Rather than subject our customers to a piecemeal implementation of our new prices, the Postal Service has decided that the best course of action would be to wait until our complete price proposal is approved by our regulator.”
A new implementation date will be set once the Postal Service files its corrected pricing proposal for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Parcels with the PRC. The Postal Service has not indicated when it would make that filing.
Although the Postal Service announcement does not directly address its proposed 2015 promotions, it is almost certain that the promotions scheduled to start May 1 (Earned Value Reply Mail and Emerging/Advanced Tech) will be pushed out based on the actual implementation of the price change. Promotions are submitted for PRC approval as part of the annual USPS pricing proposal. First-Class promotions have been approved. Standard Mail promotions are still pending approval.
We have heard these promotions will still run for the planned duration; they will just be delayed until the price change takes effect. It is likely the delayed promotions will start around June 1, assuming the USPS files an acceptable pricing proposal with the PRC before mid-April.
Stay tuned to SpeakingDIRECT as we keep you up-to-date on new developments on the implementation of this year’s postage price adjustment. Be sure to contact your IWCO Direct account team if you have any questions about the impact of these changes on your mail.
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