What is the New Price for Mailing a Letter?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced a price increase for its letter mail and other products. Price increases are part of a 10-year plan called “Delivering for America” that will help the postal service return to financial sustainability. This plan aims to bring the post office back to profitability and help it recover from its recent $87 billion loss.
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USPS postage prices are set by the Postal Regulatory Commission. These rates vary from product to product, as well as by weight. A letter weighing less than a half-ounce will cost just a few cents more than a comparable letter. However, if a letter is overweight, the cost will increase by about 24 cents per ounce. In addition, a letter that is larger than a standard manila envelope will require more postage, as will a large package.
Previously, the Postal Regulatory Commission had capped postage increases at the consumer price index (CPI). While this law is no longer in effect, USPS has stated that it needs to raise prices to maintain its financial health. It has said that it has been unable to keep up with the increasing costs of operating its network.
Postage increases are also a result of the shift to electronic communication. Today, many people rely on email to communicate, and they may use text messaging as well. People also rely on online banking, and the number of emails and transactions sent over the internet is taking a toll on the post office.
Currently, the 1-ounce First Class Mail letter rate is $0.58. By the time the new rates take effect in 2022, the price will have increased to $0.60. As for First Class International Mail, the letter rate will rise to $1.40, which is 10 cents more than the current rate.
There will also be a temporary price increase for First Class Package Service, Priority Mail Express, and Parcel Select. These increases will go into effect starting Sunday, October 2, 2022. During the peak holiday shipping season, the prices will be in effect through January 22, 2023.
The Postal Regulatory Commission has endorsed the plan. They have also indicated that the rate increase will be the first step in the plan to return the post office to financial sustainability. Overall, the rate increase is expected to add about $1 billion to the Postal Service’s operating budget over the next decade.
USPS has also proposed increases for its “Special Services” offerings, including money order fees, and certain types of insurance. Those will be reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Until then, the company will continue to provide the best value for mailing mail.
Aside from its postage rate changes, the USPS is also planning to make some improvements to its delivery times. For instance, the average delivery time for a letter is expected to increase to five days. Some of this increase will be due to the lengthening of delivery times for a third of the volume.