The latest on price increases for the coming cycle
The new prices for USPS products are listed here and will take effect on January 22, 2017. The last time the USPS increased prices was in January 2014, and prices were recently reduced when the PRC phased out the exigent price surcharge over the summer of 2017. The entire pricing structure for Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services are included in the adjustment, and detailed information on the increases can be found at www.prc.gov.
Single piece postage will be increasing to $0.49 per piece. This restores prices to the rate prior to the exigency price rollback, and is in line with CPI. Some mailers benefitted from pricing that gave the 2nd ounce free for First-Class Mail Nonautomation Presorted Machinable Letters and Standard Mail Machinable Letters over the past few years. The USPS has increased that limit to 3.5 ounces. Additionally for business mailers, presort prices will be lower in many cases.
The Postal Service is also changing the name of Standard Mail to Marketing Mail, a name that they hope will more accurately reflect the way the service is used. Standard Mail will also see numerous changes that will result in a slight overall increase in prices. Some of the most important changes will be with the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) zones. Piece weights will increase from 3.3 to 4 ounces, allowing periodical mailers to send out material with more pages for the same price. The USPS is also reversing the 2015 FSS price structure that separated FSS pricing and non-FSS pricing. This structure gave large benefits to 5- and 3-digit mailers while penalizing carrier route volumes. This will be reversed in 2017. Parcels will begin receiving an above average increase of 1.583% to begin correcting cost coverage.
Bound Printed Matter (BPM) will see price increases based roughly in CPI. Pricing for flats will revert to pre-FSS pricing through removing FSS Price categories for BPM. Again, this is to help resolve undesired effects of the May 2015 FSS price changes.
For market dominant products, the prices the Postal Service is asking for a fairly significant increase, that was calculated by using a combination of new CPI and leftover pricing authority not used last year. For Special Services the price increase will be 2.536%