Next USPS Rate Hike In July, But It’s Not All Bad News

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service released PostalOne! Release notes effective July 9, 2023 in anticipation of the next postage rate hike. This will be the second postage increase in 2023, following the USPS plan to raise rates twice a year.

Click for Postage Rates Effective July 9

The proposed new rates have not been announced. The Release Notes are pre-decisional and subject to change. (Click to read)

The Release Notes offer insight into some significant changes that may come in July, including potential postage saving opportunities for mailers:

USPS Marketing Mail Parcels Clarification

The USPS is considering clarifying the classification structure for USPS Marketing Mail Parcels. Currently,there is some ambiguity regarding when Marketing Mail may be used for parcel fulfillment.

Marriage Mail 2 oz incentive

The USPS is considering providing mailers a rate incentive for Marriage Mail pieces 2 oz.and under. Transactions that receive the incentive will be documented as part of the Postage Statement and as separate reports in PostalOne!. The incentive would be provided for mailings that meet the following criteria: 1) Minimum of 4 advertisers per mail piece; 2) Marketing Mail Letter or Flat mailing at Saturation Rates; 3) Mail piece weighing 2 oz or less; 4) Minimum mailing frequency of 10 mailings per year (rolling 12 months); 5) Marriage Mail is identified as the mail type on Postage Statements. The incentive will be applied at the time of mailing; mailers who fail any of these requirements will no longer be eligible to claim the 2 oz incentive and their price will revert to the 4 oz price.

Sectional Center Facility (SCF)Pallet Discount for Marketing Mail Letter-shaped pieces

The USPS is considering a per-piece discount for qualifying letters placed on an SCF Marketing Mail pallet. Eliminating tray handlings and sortation in facilities upstream from the destination SCFwill enable USPS to cross-dock SCF pallets and minimize mail processing costs, time and resources involved in opening, sorting, and containerizing mixed pallets to multiple destination SCFs.

Marketing Mail Flat-Shaped – New Pricing Structure

The current Pricing Structure for Marketing Mail flat-shaped pieces uses a two-tier pricing approach. For pieces below the breakpoint, only a per-piece price is charged. For pieces above the breakpoint a per-piece and per-pound rate arecharged. Under this proposal, every piece at a given presort level regardless of weight will pay a uniform piece price. Pieces above the breakpoint will also pay a per-pound price. All dropship discounts will be piece-based under the new structure and pound price will not vary by entry point (e.g., DNDC, DSCF, DDU).

Informed Delivery Promotions Enhancements

The USPS is considering updating the Informed Delivery promotion eligibility criteria and Informed Delivery marketing campaign to include USPS Marketing Mail Carrier Route Saturation Flats. The Informed Delivery promotion will include eligible USPS Marketing Mail Carrier Route Saturation mailpieces. The discount would be provided for mailings that meet the following criteria: •The mailpiece volume of Saturation mailpieces in themailing is at least 80% of the total mailpiece volume.•Mailpieces are palletized with a Carrier Route sorted pallet container level.•Mail is entered at a Destination Delivery Unit.

USPS Ground Advantage

The USPS is implementing classification changes that were previously approved to remove Retail Ground from the competitive product list, to eliminate the Parcel Select Ground rate category, and to expand First-Class Package Service (FCPS) to an up to 70-poundground product. In addition, USPS is seeking to rename FCPS as USPS Ground Advantage. As a part of this effort, the Postal Service will repurpose its existing First-Class Package Service, service type codes (STCs) to support USPS Ground Advantage parcels up to 15 oz, and to repurpose its existing Retail Ground STCs and supplement the STCs to support the 1 lb. –70 lbs. segment of USPS Ground Advantage. USPS Ground Advantage will carry an estimated national service standard of 2-5 days including offshore estimated service delivery in 2-5 days. The under 1 lb. segment of USPS Ground Advantage will have an ounce-based structure with increments of 4oz, 8oz, 12oz, and 15oz. for all zones. The over 1 lb. segmentwill support weight increments of 1 lb.from 1lb.–70lbs. for all zones. USPS Ground Advantage will continue to be sealed against inspection for retail only.

Adding Priority Mail Express Returns to USPS Returns

The USPS is considering adding USPS Priority Mail Express Returns under the USPS Returns platform. This will provide an avenue for customers using Priority Mail Express as a return option who are impacted by the elimination of the Priority Mail Express (PME) Label 11B, and it will provide an option for commercial customers who currently use PME labels for returns when USPS Corporate Accounts are eliminated.