U.S. Postal Service customers will pay slightly more for some services beginning this spring.
While the price of a First-Class stamp will not go up, larger First-Class parcels will cost more to send than before. Effective April 17, First-Class letters that weigh more than 1 ounce will cost 20 cents per additional ounce, up from the current 17-cent rate. First-Class Parcels will cost 3.8 percent more to ship, Standard and Media Mail as well as Periodicals will cost an average of 1.7 percent more, and sending letters to Mexico and Canada will cost shippers 1 cent more, the USPS notes.
The rate increases should have a minimal impact on customers and will help the struggling Postal Service generate $340 million this fiscal year, according to USPS officials. The revenue is greatly needed after USPS closed its 2010 fiscal year with an $8.5 billion loss, despite cost-cutting measures, which included eliminating jobs and closing locations. In the past two years, USPS has cut 105,000 full-time jobs—more than any other employer—to cope with the drop in mail volume.
"While changing prices is always a difficult decision, we have made every effort to keep the impact minimal for consumers and customers doing business with us at retail lobbies," says Patrick R. Donahoe, the Postal Service's postmaster general. "We will continue to balance our business needs against the needs of our customers."
The new rates will not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail, whose rates increased at the beginning of the year.
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