The USPS filed 2017 Postage Rates with the PRC last Wednesday … (click for rate filing)
Single Price for Commercial Letters up to 3.5 ounces, Adjusts FSS Pricing; Allows Extra Weight for Standard Flats
WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service today filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for Mailing Services products planning to take effect in January 2017. The proposal includes a two cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, returning the price to 49 cents, which was the price of a Forever stamp before the Postal Service was required to remove the exigent surcharge by the PRC.
The new prices, if approved, include a single price for First-Class Mail commercial presort letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces and a reduction in the one ounce meter price to 46 cents. This pricing strategy is designed to keep bills and statements in the mail by continuing to add value to commercial First-Class Mail. Standard Mail is being rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail to better align the product name with our customer’s use of this mail class. Proposed changes in Marketing Mail include removing the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) pricing which was of concern to mailers.
This change will ensure that mailers pay for flats based on their volume density instead of the equipment flats are processed on. In addition, other changes include increasing the piece pound breakpoint from 3.3 to 4.0 ounces for Marketing Mail Flats and Parcel shaped pieces to encourage mailers to include more content, which will lead to more sales for mailers and support volume growth.
The last time Single Piece First-Class prices increased was in January 2014. Today’s price change filing does not include any price change for Postcards, for letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for Single Piece Letters. Stamp prices have stayed consistent with the average annual rate of inflation since the Postal Service was formed in 1971. In addition, the incentive for Full-Service IMB remains the same at three tenths of a cent for First-Class and one tenth of a cent for Marketing Mail and Periodicals.
The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect on January 22, 2017.