USPS is seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission to raise its Priority Mail rates by 3.5 percent, and rates for its other services by 3.6 percent, beginning Jan. 2.
The rate increase would make the agency more competitive with other postal service providers like FedEx and UPS, both of which announced they will raise their rates next year. FedEx will up fees 3.9 percent and UPS will increase its rates 4.9 percent.
"The Postal Service continues to offer the best combination of value and shipping solutions in the market," says Paul Vogel, president of Mailing and Shipping Services.
The proposed USPS rate increases would raise the price of Flat Rate Envelopes to $4.95, a 1.02-percent increase compared to their current price of $4.90. Small Flat Rate boxes would cost $5.20, a 5.05-percent increase. Medium Flat Rate boxes would increase by 2.34 percent to $10.95, Domestic Large Flat Rate Boxes would cost $14.94, a 3.1-percent increase and APO/FPO Large Flat Rate boxes would go for $12.95, a 3.6-percent increase.
In addition to the rate increases, the Postal Service would also extend its Hold for Pickup service to Priority and First Class Mail and add two new flat-rate options: a Legal Flat Rate Envelope and a Padded Plat Rate Envelope. These would cost $4.95.
"These new products will provide simple solutions to a dynamic marketplace," Vogel continues.
The new rates would generate an additional $2.3 billion in revenue for USPS, and help offset the drop in mail volume the postal service currently faces.
However, there is no guarantee the proposed fee increase will be approved. In October, the Postal Regulatory Commission denied the Postal Service's request to increase the price of First Class stamps by 2 cents, saying the proposed fee hike was above the legal cap.
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