Rates for some key USPS shipping services including Priority Mail and First Class Package Service are going up significantly on January 21, 2018 (assuming they’re approved by the PRC), and according to Postal Mag, those rates had been approved in 2016 despite not having been announced publicly until last Friday.
Postal Mag says the last remaining Postal Governor signed several post-dated orders before his term expired in December 2016 – “Currently there are no postal governors because the Senate has not confirmed any new governors in a couple of years,” it wrote. (And as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “any future increases would require board approval, which can’t happen until the Trump administration nominates members and the Senate approves them.” A precarious situation indeed.)
Postal Mag wrote, “The (2018) rate increases were officially announced by the USPS on October 6th, 2017, but the planned hikes were known in detail since at least December 2016.” It said the “Dead Hand” clause the Postal Governor used is legal and “no intent of wrongdoing is implied.”
But while it says the Postal Service deserves credit for planning at least a year ahead, “the post-dated documents may not sit well with mailers impacted by rate decisions made in 2016 that affect rates in 2018.”
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