The USPS looks likely to raise rates on January 24, 2021. Its filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Friday doesn’t include price changes to many shipping services popular with online sellers, such as Priority Mail (at least for domestic service) – leaving sellers to wait for the other shoe to drop.
The US Postal Service filed notice with the PRC for changes to dominant postal rates (as far as domestic service is concerned). More than likely the USPS will file a separate notice for an increase to domestic competitive rates to take effect sometime in the New Year.
The USPS stated that Mailing Services product prices would rise approximately 1.8 percent for First-Class Mail and 1.5 percent for other categories.
That includes no increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, which would remain at 55 cents.
The single-piece letter additional ounce price would increase to 20 cents (up from 15 cents), the metered mail 1-ounce price would increase to 51 cents (up from 50 cents), and the prices of postcard stamps would increase to 36 cents (up from 35 cents). Single-piece 1-ounce flat prices will remain unchanged at $1.
Bad news for some sellers: according to the filing, prices for the Package Services products will include an increase of 3.6% for Media Mail and Library Mail.
(Postal nerds can dig into the details in this PDF file on the PRC.gov website.)
Linn’s Stamp News noted that in the past, the PRC has given quick approval to such changes after making certain that the new increases do not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by a consumer price index.
PostCom noted that the CPI price cap governing market dominant products was 1.46%.
The USPS said, “Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the consumer price index, competitive International Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue.”
It also noted, “Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery or regular Saturday delivery.”
You can find the announcement on the USPS Newsroom website. The press release includes information on where to find the details, including international rate changes that we did not delve into above.