On Tuesday, November 13th, the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission) approved the proposed USPS® postage rates. Changes to the cost of postage stamps, Certified Mail®, Priority Mail®, and more, will go into effect January 27, but your business can start preparing right now.
The USPS rate increase affects all postal services, but there are ways to navigate the new mailing and shipping rates for minimal effect on your bottom line. For example, for the first time ever, meter customers will save up to 9 percent on each First-Class letter, paying $0.50 instead of $0.55 per letter. That is the largest mailing discount for postage meter customers in history! The USPS is offering these discounts because meters provide more information on where your mail is going, allowing the USPS to process mail faster, easier, and more accurately.
Other USPS services, such as Marketing Mail™, First-Class Package Service®, and Certified Mail®, are increasing an average of 2.5% in 2019. This is the time to see if your business is eligible for discounted postage with Marketing Mail, Library Mail, Media Mail, or pre-sorted rates. To qualify you must meet certain requirements, and if you do, these discounts can help your business cut their mailing costs. Learn if you may qualify by visiting the USPS website or speaking with a USPS professional.
Certified Mail users can also limit their spend this tax season, and throughout the year, by using Certified Mail with electronic Return Receipt. Certified Mail is used by businesses in all different fields to prove that a mailpiece or shipment was sent. You can also get the signature of the person who accepted the mailing when Certified Mail is combined with Return Receipt. Return Receipt can either be an electronic or hardcopy delivery record showing the recipient’s signature. Certified Mail is going up 5 cents from $3.45 to $3.50. An additional $2.80 is charged for Return Receipt or only $1.60 if you use electronic Return Receipt. To learn more about electronic Return Receipt and its benefits in addition to cost savings check out Connectsuite eCertify online Certified Mail solution.
Popular “competitive products,” such as Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express®, that compete against other carriers like UPS® and FedEx® and are able to increase more in an effort to achieve parity. Priority Mail will increase an average of 5.9% and Priority Mail Express 3.9%.
Although the USPS competes with UPS and FedEx they are traditionally cheaper and have added benefits such as flat rate shipping. When shipping with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express you can use flat rate envelopes and boxes in which anything under 70 lbs. costs one flat rate. Just remember, “if it fits, it ships!”
Another way to offset the increase of Priority Mail and other package services is to qualify for Commercial Based pricing by being IM®pb compliant. Being IMpb compliant means using a shipping solution to print shipping labels that give the USPS extra information about the package and its recipient, once again allowing for easier processing by the USPS. Learn more about shipping solutions and about Commercial Based Pricing here.
For the full press release, you can visit the PRC website. For a breakdown of the rate change please visit our Rate Change Center to learn what services are affected and how your business can handle the change for the better!