WASHINGTON, DC — The Postal Service is cutting First-Class Mail rates for additional ounces and raising the metered mail discount rate a nickel, as part of a pricing strategy that protects its primary source of revenue.
The much feared 2019 price hikes have turned into something of a gift for business mailers. Large First-Class mailers barely see an increase, with automation rates rising under 1%. The spread between the single-piece and the best automation discount grows from 12.2 cents to 16.7 in 2019.
And mail centers will quickly notice that 3.5 ounce mail that cost $1.10 today will only be $0.95 in January 2019. That’s because the USPS took an axe to additional ounce rates. A two ounce letter today costs $0.68. In 2019, that goes to $0.65. For three ounces, the price falls from $0.89 to $0.80.
Those rates are for metered mail, which is given a five cent discount off the full rate. Metered mail rises from $0.47 to $0.50, with a First-Class stamp set at $0.55.
“The Postal Service is purposely increasing the differential between the
Stamped and Metered Letters prices from three cents to five cents, both to better retain those non-Presort customers who most use the mail, and to enhance operational efficiency,” the USPS stated in its rate filing.
“Meter-based payment is more efficient than stamp-based payment – it eliminates the need for stamp production, distribution, and cancellation – and fosters more consistent use of the postal system, slowing the migration of mail volume to electronic channels. Small business volume in particular should be protected by this decision,” the USPS states.
In the filing the USPS states that “Machinable Metered Letters bear postage affixed by meter, information-based indicia (IBI), permit imprint (except Business ReplyMail), or pre-cancelled stamp.”