USPS Is Planning This Long Dreaded Change to Your Mail, Starting Jan. 22
Customers won't be excited to hear about this upcoming adjustment.
From nationwide delivery delays to a rise in mail theft, it's clear that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling. But the agency hasn't shied away from confronting its many challenges. In March 2021, the USPS unveiled its Delivering for America (DFA) initiative, which is a 10-year plan set on transforming the agency "from an organization in financial and operational crisis to one that is self-sustaining and high performing." As part of this initiative, the USPS has been making a series of adjustments to its service and operations—and they're not letting up. In fact, the agency has just announced plans for an upcoming change that many customers have likely been dreading. Read on to find out what is set to go into effect this January.
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The Postal Service has already made several changes to your mail.
There has been no shortage of mail changes Americans have had to adjust to over the past year. Back in Oct. 2021, the Postal Service implemented new service standards that slowed down deliveries for certain First Class Mail and Periodicals. Then in April, customers were hit with two new shipping charges from the USPS for nonstandard size packages.
But changes to shipping timeframes and costs didn't stop there. The Postal Service slowed down delivery times for almost one-third of all small, lightweight packages by implement new service standards in May. And in July, the USPS hiked prices for customers sending First Class mail by 6.5 percent.
The agency has long threatened more changes, including some that customers would be unenthusiastic about. Now, one of those dreaded updates is on the horizon.
USPS is planning another adjustment in the new year.
Get prepared for your mail to go up in cost yet again. The Postal Service issued a press release on Oct. 7, warning Americans about new plans to hike prices.
According to the announcement, the USPS has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to raise several shipping costs for customers in the new year. The agency said these price changes are set to take effect Jan. 22, "if favorably reviewed by the Commission."
The agency said the proposed price increases are due to inflation.
The USPS said that the proposed changes will raise First-Class Mail prices overall by around 4.2 percent. The increases are meant to "offset the rise in inflation," and include raising the price of the First-Class Mail Forever Stamp by three cents from 60 cents to 63 cents.
"The price for 1-ounce metered mail will increase to 60 cents, and the price to send a domestic postcard will increase to 48 cents. A 1-ounce letter mailed to another country would increase to $1.45," the Postal Service explained in its news release, adding that it is "also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products including Certified Mail, Post Office Box rental fees, money order fees and the cost to purchase insurance when mailing an item."
But at least two shipping costs will remain the same, according to the USPS. "There will be no change to the single-piece letter and flat additional-ounce price, which remains at 24 cents," the agency said.
The Postal Service just temporarily raised prices for the holidays.
Prices were actually just increased for USPS customers on Oct. 2, but thankfully for a limited time. As part of a seasonal adjustment to help cover costs during the busy holiday shipping season, the Postal Service raised prices for "key package products" in the Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select, and USPS Retail Ground sectors. These prices are set to go back on Jan. 22—which is the date the USPS is now looking at to enact a permanent increase on prices.
This should have come as no surprise to customers, who have likely been dreading another increase in mail costs. During a public meeting with the USPS Board of Governors on Aug. 9, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy warned Americans that he believes the agency needs to continue to make "more aggressive" changes to its pricing structure. At the time, DeJoy said that despite recent improvements, the Postal Service is still projected to lose around $60 to $70 billion over the next 10 years.
"As everyone knows, inflation has hit the nation hard, and the Postal Service has not avoided its impact. We expect inflation to exceed our expectations by well over a billion dollars against our planned 2022 budget," DeJoy explained. "Because of this, my recommendation to the governors will be to remain on course to raise prices again in January."