USPS Is Making These Major Changes to Your Deliveries, Starting Jan. 22
The agency is continuing to make adjustments in order to improve its financial stability.
Hopefully you've been receiving your mail without any problems, but there's no doubt that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling for some time now—and it's impacting customers all across the country. The challenges facing the USPS were only exacerbated by the pandemic, prompting the agency to implement a 10-year plan for achieving financial stability called Delivering for America. This initiative was unveiled in March 2021, and through it, the USPS has been making big changes to get closer to its goal. So far, several adjustments have been made to deliveries, including slower timeframes and increased costs. But the agency is far from finished. Read on to find out what new changes the USPS is planning for your deliveries starting in January.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Suspending Services Here, Starting Nov. 19.
The Postal Service says it has been making progress recently.
At this point, the Delivering for America plan has been in place for over year, and it's already started to help the USPS. On Nov. 10, the Postal Service released its financial results for the 2022 fiscal year, which ended in September. According to the report, the agency ended this year with an operating revenue increase of $1.5 billion compared to the year prior, even with a decline in volume of mailpieces.
"Our latest results show that we are making solid and steady progress—despite administrative, operational, and inflationary headwinds—toward our goals of financial break-even on an annual basis and sustainability on a long-term basis," Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy said in a statement. "While we are not where we want to be and still have far to go, the execution of our Delivering for America plan is producing greater operational efficiencies, improving service performance, generating more revenue, and enabling long-deferred investments to modernize our technology and operations infrastructure."
According to DeJoy, the USPS is focused on continuing to "implement operational changes" in order to improve financial stability. And one of these new adjustments has just been announced.
The agency will continue to make changes into the new year.
There are still several years left in the Postal Service's Delivering for America plan—which means more changes are on the horizon. In fact, the USPS issued a separate press release on Nov. 10 announcing "new competitive prices" for 2023. According to the announcement, the agency has just filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of planned prices changes for Shipping Services next year. The PRC "will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect," the USPS said. If approved, they will go into effect on Jan. 22.
"Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions," the agency explained. "The Postal Service governors evaluate shipping rates and fees and adjust them when needed as part of Postal Service's 10-year Delivering For America plan which is designed to reverse a projected $160 billion in operating losses over the next 10 years."
Some prices will increase while others will go down.
These delivery changes might force you to shell out more money for certain shipping services. According to the USPS, the planned price update will raise Priority Mail service prices by approximately 5.5 percent, Priority Mail Express service prices by 6.6 percent, and First-Class Packages Service prices by 7.8 percent. But unlike some of the Postal Service's recent cost adjustments for customers, this plan doesn't just cover price hikes.
The Postal Service said that there will be no price increase for Parcel Select Ground or USPS Connect Local. "In addition, some Priority Mail flat-rate retail product prices will be reduced compared with the temporary rate adjustment currently in place, and Priority Mail commercial rates will increase by only 3.6 percent, well below the rate of inflation," the USPS noted.
These changes really do cut both ways. For example, the retail price of a small flat-rate box will decrease from $10.40 to $10.20, while regular, legal, and padded flat-rate envelopes are all set to go down in cost by 20 to 25 cents. Meanwhile, the cost of other products will increase: A medium flat-rate box by 5 cents, a large flat-rate box by 35 cents, and an APO/FFO large flat-rate box by 25 cents.
This isn't the first announcement of price changes for 2023.
The latest announcement from the Postal Service only covers price changes for shipping services. That's because the agency already revealed plans to increase costs for other mailing services next year.
On Oct. 7, the USPS filed notice with the PRC of price hikes for certain mail products, including a 3-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp from 60 cents to 63 cents. Other adjustments include the raising the costs of 1-ounce metered mail to 60 cents and domestic postcards to 48 cents, as well as 1-ounce letters and postcards mailed to another country to $1.45.
These price changes will also go into effect Jan. 22, if favorably reviewed by the USPS. "As operating expenses continue to rise, these price adjustments provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the agency said.