In collaboration with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced additional price increases beginning on August 29, 2021. While the Postal Service called for increases back in January, 2021, this more expansive decision is part of the organization’s 10-year “Delivering for America” plan, hoping to balance company income alongside reasonable pricing.
USPS MAILING AND FULFILLMENT PRICE INCREASES
A total of 14 products marked as market-dominant will experience price changes. This division of mail is estimated to experience a 6.9% increase overall once changes are implemented. Within this division, First-Class Mail, including stamps, single-piece flats, and presort letters, has changed significantly since January. Here are the most prominent changes across all categories:
- Stamps prices will increase 3 cents to 58 cents
- Flats prices will increase from $1 to $1.16
- Media and library mail will experience a 40-cent increase
- Parcels prices will see a 3% increase
Despite these changes, the USPS emphasizes its continuing affordability for domestic First-Class Mail when compared to other countries including Italy and France. With the revised financial plan, the USPS promises a 58-cent delivery from, “…rural Maine to the Bottom of the Grand Canyon.” A complete postage rate guide by zone can be found on the USPS Postal Explorer website. Additionally, price increases will allow for an upgraded transportation system to ensure an on-time delivery rate of 95%.
WHAT LED USPS TO RAISE PRICES IN AUGUST 2021?
USPS notes the inception of its pricing limitations beginning in 2006, the same year the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was passed. This act prevented mailing rates from exceeding the current Consumer Price Index (CPI), a rule that the USPS found to be troublesome for several company-related reasons:
- Decreased mail volume
- Increase in registered delivery addresses
- Above average spending on labor and retirement planning
Since the act’s review in December 2017, the USPS determined a total of $55 billion in missed revenue. While the PRC granted the Postal Service more financial freedom in November 2020, this most recent plan focuses on preventing long-term future losses, estimated at $160 billion by 2031.
In addition to revenue issues, the USPS also faces a gradual decline in mailing requests. Over the course of 10 years, the organization has experienced the following problems:
- A 28% decrease in overall mailed items
- A 32% decrease in First-Class Mail
- A 47% decrease in single piece First-Class Mail
These numbers are expected to continue declining through 2030, estimating an additional decrease of 36%.
FINELINE’S MAILING AND FUFILLMENT SERVICES
In order to maximize savings in the wake of price increases, Fineline recommends prioritizing list hygiene. The benefits of Variable Data Printing (VDP) are far reaching, best targeted at customers who have engaged with your company on a one-on-one basis. This also ties into personalization, important for bringing relevant and engaging material to each client. Finally, consider using Fineline’s eProcurement software, Finelink, built to consolidate branding materials into one online location. Like with past USPS price increases, Fineline’s updated postal chart will provide guidelines and information on the most recent changes. For any questions or assistance in navigating the price increases, customers should contact their client service representative to ensure the best strategy for mailing needs.