The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the United States Postal Service (USPS) rate case. On January 27th 2019, postage rates will increase an average of 2.479% for Marketing/Presort Standard Mail.
As is the case with most postal rate increases, some rates are taking a large jump up in cost and others are dropping down. For example, one of the largest percentage increases is the cost of a first class forever stamp going from 50 cents up to 55 cents. That is a whopping 10% increase over the current rate, but each additional ounce is dropping from 21 cents to 15 cents, a decrease of 28.6%. A 1 ounce metered piece of mail is going from 47 cents up to 50 cents per piece, a 6.4% increase. The good news is that First Class Flat size mail pieces less than 1 ounce remain at $1.00 and Single Piece Postcards remain at 35 cents.
For First Class Commercial mailers the prices for Flat size mail pieces are taking a little bit bigger jump as Mixed ADC Automation Flats are going up to 72.7 cents, an increase of 3.12%. 3-Digit Automation Flats will be 60.5 cents (a 2.02% increase) and 3-Digit Auto Flats are jumping up 2.53% to 48.6 cents per piece. Automation Letters are going up between 0.9% for Mixed AADC Letter to 1.3% for 5-Digit Auto Letters.
Marketing Mail Letters are also increasing anywhere for 0.7% for Basic Carrier Route Letters to High Density Carrier Route Letters going from 20 cents to 20.9 cents - a 4.5% increase. AADC Automation Letters are also taking an above-average jump to 28.1 cents or 2.6%. Non-Profit rates are seeing a similar increase percentage-wise with 5-digit DSCF rates going up to 11 cents from 10.5 cents and High Density DSCF rates going from 9 cents to 9.9 cents per piece.
Some of the largest increases are with Marketing Mail Flats as that is an area that the USPS is "underwater" on. The cost for the USPS to process Flat size mail pieces is exceeding the postage received for these pieces. The largest increases are for 3-digit, ADC and Mixed ADC Automation Flats which are going up between 4.6% and 5.7%. For those of you who mail Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), the EDDM Retail rate is going up from 17.8 cents per piece to 18.7 cents per piece.
Another area that is seeing double digit increases is for Parcel Select Lightweight and First Class Package Services with increases of 12.3% per category. Parcel Select Non-Lightweight (destination entered) is going up 9.3%.
Now is the time to purchase your forever stamps while the price per stamp is 50 cents each. Even at 55 cents for a 1st class stamp, the cost to mail a letter across the country is still a great value! (See my blog article from July 2016 titled “What can you get for 47 cents?")