USPS Is Making All These Changes to Your Mail in January
The agency just announced plans for new adjustments to its shipping prices.
The new year is certain to bring any number of changes our way. Most of those can't be predicted, but you can already expect one major federal service to switch things up in the coming weeks. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) just announced new changes for the first month of 2024, as it continues to work its way through the Delivering for America (DFA) plan, a decade-long overhaul meant to overcome financial challenges. Read on to find out more about the upcoming adjustments.
The USPS previously announced plans to raise mail prices.
Last month, the Postal Service revealed that it had filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of plans to raise mailing services product prices. In the Oct. 6 press release, the agency indicated that this would raise costs for customers by approximately 2 percent, if favorably reviewed by the commission.
"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 USPS said in its release.
Set to take effect Jan. 21, the new rates include a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 66 cents to 68 cents. Domestic postcards will also go up to 53 cents, while international postcards and letters will climb up to $1.55.
But now, the Postal Service is planning even more increases.
The agency wants to make changes to shipping costs as well.
More price changes may be coming your way. In a Nov. 15 press release, the USPS announced that it had also filed notice with the PRC of proposed prices changes for shipping services. According to the release, the new rates would impact USPS Ground Advantage, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express.
The agency is planning to kickstart these changes on Jan. 21, as well. Starting then, USPS Ground Advantage prices would increase by 5.4 percent, Priority Mail service prices would increase by 5.7 percent, and Priority Mail Express service prices would increase by 5.9 percent.
And there are potential price hikes beyond that.
"The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products including Post Office Box rental fees and some international mail services that includes Registered Mail and International Mail insurance," the USPS added in its release. "The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect."
The Postal Service said it still offers some of the "lowest shipping rates."
Despite the proposed shipping price changes, the Postal Service said it is not planning to raise prices for its USPS Connect Local offering.
"This service provides businesses with an affordable same-day and next-day delivery for their local customers," the agency stated in its release.
At the same time, the USPS said that even with the increased prices, it "continues to offer a great value in shipping" for customers.
"Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service has upfront pricing and does not add surcharges for residential and regular Saturday delivery, nor fuel. Also, the Postal Service offers convenient flat rate and cubic pricing options," the agency stated.
The Postal Service also noted that with the implementation of its 10-year DFA plan, 98 percent of the U.S. is currently receiving their mail and packages in less than three days on average.
"USPS offers some of the lowest shipping rates in the industry and is a great value to reach more than 165 million delivery points six and sometimes seven-days a week in a consistent and economical way," the agency added.
The agency is still struggling financially.
In March 2021, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy launched the Postal Service's DFA overhaul. But as we end the third year of this transformation, it's clear the USPS is still struggling. During a Nov. 14 meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors, DeJoy confirmed that the agency ended the 2023 fiscal year with a $6.5 billion dollar net loss, despite previously set goals.
"When looking back to our DFA projections published in March of 2021, we forecasted that we would break even this year," he said. "Our efforts to grow revenue and reduce labor and transportation costs were simply not enough to overcome our costs to stabilize our organization, the historical inflationary environment we encountered, and our inability to obtain the CSRS reform we sought, none of which were accounted for in our forecasts."
As a result, the Postmaster General said that the USPS needs to continue to make "dramatic" and "substantial" change to continue to reduce costs and bring the agency to a profitable one. This includes ongoing "efforts to be innovation in pricing" its market-dominant products, according to DeJoy.
- 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/2023/1115-usps-announces-new-competitive-prices-for-2024.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/1114-pmg-ceo-louis-dejoy-remarks-during-nov-14-bog-meeting.htm