SEMA eNews Vol. 21, No. 43, October 25, 2018

U.S. Postal Service Proposes Price Increases

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has proposed price increases to take effect January 27, 2019, which are being considered by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The proposal would raise mailing service costs by an average of 2.5% to make up for the USPS’ revenue shortfall, which totaled $2.7 billion in the last fiscal year. A First-Class “forever” stamp (1 oz. letters) would increase from 50 to 55 cents, while mailing service rates, including magazines and catalogs, would increase by 2.5%. Below is a breakdown of proposed price changes for mailing services and domestic priority mail flat-rate shipping:

Mailing Service Products     Current     Proposed
Letters (1 oz.)     50 cents     55 cents
Letters additional ounces     21 cents     15 cents
Letters (metered 1 oz.)     47 cents     50 cents
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.)     $1.15     $1.15
Domestic Postcards       35 cents     35 cents
             
Domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Shipping            
Small Flat-Rate Box     $7.20     $7.90
Medium Flat-Rate Box     $13.65     $14.35
Large Flat-Rate Box     $18.90     $19.95
APO/FPO Large Flat-Rate Box     $17.40     $18.45
Regular Flat-Rate Envelope     $6.70     $7.35
Legal Flat-Rate Envelope     $7.00     $7.65
Padded Flat-Rate Envelope     $7.25     $8.00


The U.S. Department of State announced that the United States intends to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a 192-country postal agreement, which sets the fees that national mail carriers may charge. U.S. frustration with the UPU is largely due to a provision dating back to the ’60s that offers discounts to companies based in under-developed countries, which has enabled Chinese companies to ship parcels weighing under 4.4 lbs. to U.S. customers at rates up to 70% below what domestic companies are charged. The State Department intends to renegotiate rates to ensure that American manufacturers are not placed at a disadvantage, which will ultimately determine whether the United States completes the one-year process of withdrawing from the pact.

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at erics@sema.org.

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