USPS Is Making These Changes to Your Mail, Starting Now
The agency is introducing new tools, prices, and stamps in the coming months.
Dealing with the postal system can be frustrating any time of year, but there's a lot of added stress that comes with getting things shipped during the holiday season. On top of that, you have to be aware of ongoing changes: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is still operating under the Delivering for America (DFA) plan—a 10-year overhaul initiative that the agency began in 2021. That means updates have been frequent, and this winter will be no different. The coming months will see new tools, new prices, and new stamps for customers. Read on to discover all the changes on the horizon.
The USPS has a new tool for customers sending mail during the holiday season.
While changes like price hikes can be tough on customers, some changes are designed to make their lives easier.
The Postal Service is attributing its "tremendous success" during the last holiday season to the previous upgrades it made under DFA, and it's prepared to improve again this year.
"We are ready to deliver for the holidays in a superior and routine manner," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement accompanying an Oct. 23 press release. "We have been planning early and leveraging investments in our people, infrastructure, transportation and technology—made possible by the Delivering for America plan."
To help operations amid the 2023 holiday season, the USPS just announced the launch of a new online tool for customers: the USPS Holiday Newsroom.
"Created with the consumer in mind, the USPS Holiday Newsroom offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources designed to simplify and streamline the holiday shipping process," the agency said in a statement to Best Life. "Whether it's finding the best rates, tracking packages in real-time, or expert packing tips, our platform provides a one-stop solution for all your holiday shipping needs."
The agency is not implementing holiday surcharges this year.
As part of its new changes for the 2023 holiday season, the USPS also announced that it would not be raising prices for customers during this time.
"With no holiday surcharges, we are strongly positioned to be America's most affordable delivery provider this holiday season," DeJoy said.
The agency has been adding a holiday surcharge during its peak season since 2020, Retail Dive reported. But the Postal Service has decided not to levy extra costs onto customers this year in order to offer "increased predictability in pricing," according to the October release.
"There will be no additional fees for residential area delivery, for Saturday delivery, or for minimum volumes," the USPS added.
But it will be raising mail prices after that.
While the USPS may be skipping surcharges during the holiday season, postal customers should still prepare for a price hike this winter. In an Oct. 6 press release, the agency announced that it had filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of proposed price changes for mailing services next year. If approved by the PRC, increased costs will hit customers starting Jan. 21, 2024.
"The proposed adjustments, approved by the governors of the Postal Service, would raise mailing services product prices approximately 2 percent," the agency stated in its release. "The new rates include a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 66 cents to 68 cents."
The USPS has been increasing prices since 2021, with the last hike having taken effect in July.
"As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the agency explained.
The USPS is also updating its stamp collection in 2024.
Along with its 2-cent rate increase, the Postal Service is planning to introduce new stamps for customers to buy next year. In an Oct. 23 press release, the agency announced several of the designs it's set to release in 2024.
These include a Year of the Dragon stamp, an Underground Railroad collection, a Pinback Buttons series, as well as stamps dedicated to the late federal judge Constance Baker Motley and novelist Saul Bellow. More stamp designs will be "revealed in the weeks and months ahead," according to the USPS.
"As always, our stamp program features a broad array of subjects and designs. Stamps are miniature works of art and often tell a story that highlights our American culture, our people or an important point in our history," Lisa Bobb-Semple, acting Stamp Services director for USPS, said in a statement. "Stamps also allow us to show what's important to us as we carefully select which stamp adorns our mailpieces. The 2024 stamps were designed to offer the American public a broad array of choices for those looking to collect stamps or send a special message."
- Source: https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/
- Source: https://about.usps.com/holidaynews/holiday-happenings/10-30-usps-ready-to-deliver.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/holidaynews/
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/1006-usps-proposes-new-prices-for-2024.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/1023-usps-reveals-stamps-for-2024.htm