Without an accompanying press release, Federal Register notice or advisory, the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) released the new postal rates on the “Postal Explorer” page of their website. On the left hand navigation bar of the page, users can download the rates in either Excel or .CSV format. Also, the new postage statement forms have been posted.
The new rates are consistent with the December 24, 2013 decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) to conditionally approve the USPS request for an exigent rate case. Under the decision, the USPS will be able to raise rates by approximately 6%, and maintain those rates until they recoup the calculated $2.8 billion loss due to the “Great Recession” of 2009.
For almost 2 weeks, the mailing community has been waiting for some type of decision by the USPS. Through the Postal Customer Councils, the USPS released a statement that they were disappointed in the PRC decision, and were going to take time to analyze the new rates. However, there was no follow-up communication.
Under the new rates, the greatest impact will be on mailers who meet don’t presort their mail to the higher levels. As the table below shows, First Class Mail single piece rates will increase by 6.52%, and mixed AADC rates by 7.41%. On the other hand, AADC/3-Digit rates will only increase by 5.73% and 5-Digit rates by 5.83%. This means that the savings for AADC/3-Digit presort improves to $0.084 per piece, and 5-Digit to $0.109 per piece.
The date for these rate changes to go into effect is still January 26, 2014. The USPS Board of Governors is meeting this week, and postal rates are on the agenda. They may vote to delay the new rates to give the industry more time to prepare and release software updates. But mailers need to be prepared to react quickly if the Board of Governors directs the USPS to move forward with the original date.