USPS Just Made This Major Change to Deliveries, as of Yesterday
You might be surprised the next time you go to send out mail.
From delivery delays to ongoing problems with stolen mail, it's safe to say the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling recently. Financial shortcomings coupled with staffing shortages exacerbated by the COVID pandemic have left the postal agency in a less-than-ideal position. The situation is so dire, in fact, that President Joe Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act in April, which plans to provide around $50 billion in relief to the USPS over the next 10 years to help the strengthen the agency. But the Postal Service is also making its own changes to try to get itself back on stable footing—and one of these adjustments was just pushed onto customers yesterday. Read on to find out about the latest major change to deliveries.
USPS has made a number of changes to its services recently.
Those who frequent their local post office are likely very tuned into the changes the USPS has implemented of late. But if you're not one of these customers, you might not realize the list is quite extensive.
In Oct. 2021, the Postal Service implemented new service standards for certain First Class Mail, increasing the amount of time it takes to deliver about 30 percent of mail in this category. Then in April 2022, the USPS introduced two new shipping fees for customers to cover non-standard dimensions. And just last month, the agency closed for the Juneteenth holiday for the first time ever, confirming that it will now start recognizing the day as a federal holiday.
But these adjustment hardly scratch the surface of changes the USPS has made just this year—and one was just implemented yesterday.
The agency has hit customers with another adjustment.
If you send something through the Postal Service system now, you might find that it costs you more than it used to. In April, the USPS first announced that it had filed notice of plans to raise the price of one popular stamp with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). After being "favorably reviewed" by the PRC, the official price of the First Class Forever stamp increased yesterday, July 10. Now, the Postal Service says that consumers must pay 60 cents for each of the stamps purchased—which is two cents higher than its prior cost of 58 cents.
This is not the only thing that will cost you more now.
A price hike for the First Class Forever stamp was only part of the plan proposed by the Postal Service to the PRC in April. According to the USPS, it also declared its intentions to raise First Class Mail prices overall by around 6.5 percent at the same time—which was also approved by the PRC.
As of July 10, there are several postal price increases for consumers to take note of. This includes the cost of mailing 1-ounce metered letters rising from 53 cents to 57 cents, additional letter ounces increasing from 20 cents to 24 cents, domestic postcards climbing from 40 cents to 44 cents, and international letters going up from $1.30 to $1.40.
USPS officials have already indicated plans for future price hikes.
The Postal Service said that "as inflation and increased operating expenses continue," these new price adjustments are meant to help implement its "Delivering for America" plan. This 10-year plan was created to allow the USPS to "achieve financial sustainability and service excellence" through new initiatives and investments.
Consumers are likely to see costs rise again over this next decade. During a May 5 meeting, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy warned customers to prepare for prices to keep increasing at an "uncomfortable rate" as part of his 10-year plan for the USPS "to achieve financial sustainability" and become "self-sustaining, as required by law," Axios reported.
"I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model—which cannot be satisfied by one or two annual price increases—especially in this inflationary environment," DeJoy said.