New policies for U.S. Postal Service are now in affect

Effective Jan. 18, the U.S. Postal Service is adjusting prices for some shipping services. These changes are consistent with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 and affect Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel S elect, Parcel Return Service, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International, Priority Mail International, and International Direct Sacks (Airmail M-Bags).

The price of First-Class Mail will not change-it remains 42 cents for a single-piece First-Class Mail one-ounce letter. Only the cost of shipping packages is increasing. The price increase for mailing services will be announced in February and will take effect in May.

The January implementation for shipping services prices aligns the Postal Service with price changes among other shipping companies and provides a clearer picture of the competitive, affordable products offered. The costs of doing business-for things like transportation, utilities, and health care benefits-have continued to increase. Without an increase to keep up with rising costs, the Postal Service would face significant loss.

Contrary to popular belief, Postal Service operations are not subsidized by tax dollars-it must rely on the sale of postal products and services to cover operating costs. The Postal Service has been aggressive about cutting its costs. Like other businesses, however, the Postal Service cannot fully make up for the increase in its expenses by cutting costs. Many costs are influenced by factors outside the control of the Postal Service, such as the price of fuel or difficult economic conditions.

The Postal Service will now offer a new small Priority Mail flat-rate box for Priority Mail and Priority Mail International items priced at $10.95 for Canada or Mexico and $12.95 for all other countries. Express Mail prices will increase an average of 5.7 percent and Priority Mail prices will increase an average of 3.7 percent. Prices for Parcel Select and PRS, generally used by larger mailers, will increase by approximately 5.9 percent for Parcel Select and approximately 5.3 percent for PRS. Prices for international shipping services will also be adjusted on Jan. 18.

Customers using Click-N-Ship or PC Postage service will continue to receive a commercial base price eight percent lower than the comparable retail price.

Mr. Zip’s Tip: At 700,000 square feet, the U.S. Postal Service’s New York International Service Center is the largest postal office of exchange in the world.

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