Postal Prices Increase January 22, 2012
Just in case your Internet connection's been down, or you have been busy working on your New Year's resolutions, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is increasing their prices for both market-dominant and shipping services mail classes. This increase takes effect this Sunday, January 22, 2012.
Price Increases: Market-Dominant
- First-Class Mail: Overall increase of 2.133%, with parcels getting the largest increase of 10.882%. Flats will see an increase of 1.605%, while presort letters and cards see an increase of 1.580%. International First-Class has an increase of 4.679%. The First-Class stamp will go up to 45 cents. (Buy your Forever Stamps before Sunday!)
- Periodicals: Overall increase of 2.133%, with Outside County rates going up by 2.136%, while In-County rates increase by 2.054%.
Standard Mail: Overall increase of 2.124%, with High Density/Saturation Flats and Parcels receiving the largest increase at 2.878%. Flats see an increase of 2.209%, while letters go up 1.867%. Basic Carrier-route sorted letters, flats, and parcels see an increase of 2.425%. High-density and Saturation Carrier-route sorted letters have an increase of 2.298%, while Parcels see an increase of 2.864%.
- Package Services: Overall increase of 2.133%. Single Piece Parcel Post will go up by 2.472%. Bound Printed Matter Flats increase by 0.504%, while BPM Parcels increase by 1.886%. Media Mail and Library Mail increases by 2.581%.
Detailed Excel rate charts for market-dominant categories are available on the USPS Postal Explorer web site.
Price Increases: Shipping Services
- Express Mail: Overall increase of 3.3%, with retail prices seeing an average increase of 4.4%. Commercial Base prices will actually decrease by 5.0%, and Commercial Plus prices as a whole receiving a zero increase with some seeing a decrease. The USPS will introduce an Express Mail Flat Rate Box for $39.95.
- Priority Mail: Overall increase of 3.1%, with retail prices going up by an average of 3.2%. Flat Rate Box prices will be: Small ($5.35), Medium ($11.35) and Large ($15.45), while Flat Rate Envelope will be $5.15. Commercial Base prices will increase an average of 3.0%, while Commercial Plus rates go up on average by 2.8%.
- Parcel Select: Overall increase of 8.5%, with destination-entered parcels increasing from 6.8% to 7.8% depending on the type of destination entry facility. Non-destination entered parcels go up by .8% to 1.5% depending on the level of presort. Lightweight Parcel Select, the replacement for Standard Mail commercial parcels, will increase by 8.9%. The Intelligent Mail parcel barcode will also be introduced at this time, which will allow for free tracking of these parcels.
- Parcel Return Service: Overall increase of 4.6%.
- Commercial First-Class Package Service: Commercial First-Class Mail Parcels were recently transferred to the competitive product list; these prices will increase 3.7%.
- International Expedited Services: Global Express Guaranteed prices increase by 6.0%, and Express Mail International by 11.6%.
- Other International services: International Priority Airmail increases by 1.0%, International Surface Airlift by 13.7% and Airmail M-bags by 3.5%.
Detailed Excel rate charts for shipping services categories are available on the USPS Postal Explorer web site.
The USPS also announced some classification changes necessary to implement the planned price adjustments, including (but not limited to):
- Changing the name of Not Flat Machineables (NFM's)/Parcels in Standard Mail to Parcels. Specifically Marketing Parcels, Nonprofit Machineable Parcels and Nonprofit Irregular Parcels. Former NFM’s not qualifying as Standard Marketing Parcels may mail as Parcel Select Lightweight.
- Adding Package Intercept service as an option for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package Services.
- Adding a Mixed ADC Periodicals Outside County price category.
- Changing the maximum weight for Carrier Route letters.
- Eliminating the Bound Printed Matter Parcels and Media/Library Mail barcode discounts.
As always, Window Book works diligently to incorporate USPS changes into our software once the changes are finalized. This increase has been particularly challenging due to many last-minute changes and clarifications from the USPS as well as a Mail.dat version change to 12-1. Nonetheless, our DAT-MAIL™, Post Master™, and Postal Package Partner™ software solutions have all been updated to comply with the January 22, 2012 postal changes. Users should download these updates from our web site and install them prior to the rate change effective date of January 22, 2012. All postage rate calculations are driven from the mailing date, so updating your software prior to the effective date will not cause any issues.
Mailers who use PostalOne! to transmit postal documents electronically should also visit the Business Customer Gateway to update the USPS MDR Client software used for these transmissions if you have not already done so.
Don't miss out on our educational mailing webinars! Log on to our webinar registration site to sign up.