At the end of the holiday mailing season, you could see increases in the price of stamps. Citing its vulnerable financial condition and the uncertain outcome for postal reform legislation by Congress, the United States Postal Service (USPS®) has recently filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) seeking approval to increase the price of stamps. If approved, the price increases include First-Class Mail® Forever stamp returning to 49 cents, which was reduced in early 2016 due to the surcharge removal. The rate change could go into effect on January 22, 2017.
The U.S. Postal Service® depends on sale of its products and services to cover its operating expenses, which are not covered by taxpayers’ dollars. The last time stamp prices increased in the U.S. was in 2014 and in comparison to other European postal services, the U.S Postal Service continues to offer some of the most affordable rates.
"Of the options currently available to the Postal Service to align costs and revenues, increasing postage prices is a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges," notes Mickey Barnett, USPS Board Chairman to customers.
Under Federal law, USPS cannot raise its prices more than the inflation rate, unless it is endorsed by the PRC. However, Barnett said the increases, if approved, would generate $2 billion annually, to help bring the agency closer to closing the financial gaps.
What can you do to prepare?
This possible USPS rate increase, in addition to the recently announced increases by major carriers’ FedEx and UPS will have serious spending implications for businesses that do not consider mailing and shipping solutions.
In light of this trend of major carriers raising prices to offset financial gaps, customers should ensure that they do not wait until January to look at delivery costs control. Be proactive about devising a mailing and shipping costs control plan, including the consideration for how shipping and mailing solutions may help your business realize considerable savings in the long-run. The recently announced savings of three cents for postage meter users could amount to significant savings over the long-term.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to the weight of delivery costs increases on their bottom-lines but many are taking control of their long-term mailing expenses, by accessing savings made possible by tailored small biz mailing solutions. You can contact a mailing solutions expert, who may be able to help you weigh the right mailing options that will bring you considerable savings.