The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has reviewed the postage rate proposal put forward by the U.S. Postal Service in October and has approved postage rates for “market dominant” products―First-Class Mail, Standard (now Marketing) Mail and Periodicals. They also approved postage rates for competitive products (Parcels and International Mail). We are still awaiting the PRC’s decision on rates for Special Services (P.O. Boxes, Certified Mail, etc.). What does this all mean for postage rates in 2017? Let’s take a look:
Postage Rates for First-Class Mail
Average increase across the class is 0.78%. The retail single-piece rate for letters went back up to $0.49, which took up most of the CPI rate cap. Presort and automation letter rates were close to flat and the commercial single-piece letter rate declined a half cent.
Postage Rates for Standard (Marketing) Mail
Average increase across the class is 0.895%. The discount for drop-shipping letter mail has been reduced, so most letter mailers will see increases of about 2.5%, depending on their entry pattern.
The PRC did require the Postal Service to make a few adjustments to the pricing for Nonprofit Standard Mail to align piece rate and piece/pound rate pricing. Most of the adjustments were to the piece/pound rates that only apply to letters over 3.5 ounces and flats over 4.0 ounces.
The Postal Service has said it will gradually phase in the name change to USPS Marketing Mail over a period of about 18 months. There is no immediate plan to change rate markings on mailpieces, so all indicias referring to Standard Mail can continue to be used.
Keep reading SpeakingDIRECT for the latest on postage rates, and be sure to ask your IWCO Direct account team for a copy of our 2017 Postage Price Chart.
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