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USPS wants to hike stamp prices in July. It’s just the beginning of a plan to raise prices at ‘an uncomfortable rate.’

USPS wants to hike stamp prices in July. It’s just the beginning of a plan to raise prices at ‘an uncomfortable rate.’


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The U.S. Postal Service is predicted to extend costs in July, elevating the price of a Ceaselessly stamp from 58 cents to 60 cents. And that might not be the one worth hike within the close to future.

Postmaster Normal Louis DeJoy mentioned Might 5 he anticipated the Postal Service to proceed to boost costs “at an uncomfortable charge” till the company turns into self-sufficient.

The USPS proposed the speed enhance a month in the past, on April 6, the identical day President Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, laws meant to bolster the company, which has confronted financial challenges in addition to stiff competitors from shippers such FedEx and UPS.

Along with guaranteeing six-day-a-week mail supply, the brand new legislation is predicted to avoid wasting the company an estimated $50 billion over the subsequent decade, DeJoy mentioned. That comes primarily from ending the requirement of the USPS paying right into a well being profit fund for present and retired staff for 75 years into the longer term. Retired postal staff now are required to enroll in Medicare.

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However the brand new legislation alone will not deliver solvency to the company, which has suffered 14 straight years of web losses. The USPS nonetheless expects to lose $110 billion over the subsequent 10 years, DeJoy mentioned whereas speaking to a Postal Service board of governors meeting.

Extra worth will increase are wanted, DeJoy mentioned, “till such time as we’ve achieved our goal of projecting a trajectory that exhibits us turning into self-sustaining – as required by legislation.”

USPS mail costs anticipated to extend 

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed the next worth will increase to take impact July 10.

          Product                                Present Costs        Deliberate Costs

  • Letters (1 oz.)                                   58 cents                  60 cents
  • Letters (metered 1 oz.)                   53 cents                  57 cents
  • Letters further ounce(s)            20 cents                  24 cents
  • Home Postcards                        40 cents                  44 cents
  • Worldwide Letter (1 oz.)             $1.30                       $1.40

The Postal Regulatory Fee is reviewing this worth hike and is predicted to approve it, mentioned Stephen Kearney, govt director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, which estimates nonprofits account for about 10% of all USPS mail quantity.

The PRC didn’t return a request for remark.

The final worth hike for Ceaselessly stamps got here in August 2021, when the USPS elevated the worth three cents to 58 cents. 

What different USPS costs have risen?

Earlier this yr, USPS raised rates on Priority Mail and Precedence Mail Categorical by 2.7% (charges beginning at $7.37, up from $7.16) and 4.3% (beginning at $23.50, beforehand $22.75).

Will there be extra USPS worth hikes?

Postmaster Normal DeJoy has mentioned they’re wanted.

The Postal Service will doubtless search one other worth enhance of three% to five% in January, however Kearney’s group opposes the present and future ones.

The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, together with the Association for Postal Commerce, petitioned the Postal Regulatory Fee final month to rethink the USPS’ charge enhance leeway. “They don’t want these extreme charge hikes now,” Kearney mentioned.

Does the USPS want this worth hike?

Members of Congress differ. Earlier than approving the speed enhance, the Postal Regulatory Fee ought to think about how the passage of the postal reform laws has modified the monetary scenario of the USPS, mentioned Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who chairs the Home Oversight Committee..

A member of that committee, Rep. Gerry Connolly , D-Va., agrees. “Postmaster Normal DeJoy’s plan to boost costs whereas degrading service is a recipe for catastrophe,” he mentioned in an announcement to USA TODAY. “We simply handed Postal Reform to revive monetary stability to the Postal Service. We will’t undo that progress by making costs uncompetitive.”

Connolly references considerations about the change in standards for first-class mail delivery instances that went into impact in Oct. 1, 2021. Now USPS has a four- or five-day customary for mail touring 931 miles or extra. Previously, the company had a typical of delivering all first-class mail in three days.

However most first-class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%) can be unaffected by these modifications, whereas single-piece first-class mail inside a neighborhood space will nonetheless arrive in two days, USPS says. General, 70% of the first-class mail quantity ought to arrive in between 1-3 days.

“The Postal Service will enhance time-in-transit requirements by 1 or 2 days for sure mail which can be touring longer distances,” mentioned USPS spokesman David Coleman. “By doing so, the Postal Service can entrust its floor community to ship extra (first-class mail), which can result in larger consistency, reliability, and effectivity that advantages its prospects.”

The priority is that “when mail service slows, folks use the mail much less,” mentioned Porter McConnell, co-founder of the Save the Post Office Coalition.

Declining volumes – and aggressive pricing – are factored into the company’s 10-year strategic plan, introduced in March 2021 by DeJoy. The USPS’ charge enhance takes under consideration inflation, too, mentioned Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the rating Republican on the committee.

“The Postal Service should function like a enterprise to be financially sustainable,” he advised USA TODAY. “A key part of the not too long ago handed postal reform invoice was to permit the Postal Service – not Congress – to make enterprise choices.”

As a substitute of elevating charges, the Postal Service ought to benefit from talents allowed throughout the reform act to accomplice with native and state businesses to supply companies reminiscent of looking and fishing licenses, offering broadband service – or perhaps a Wi-Fi sign within the parking zone – electrical automobile charging and grocery supply, McConnell mentioned. “Different authorities businesses usually accomplice with the personal sector to develop their presence, however no one has extra attain than USPS,” she mentioned.

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Postal costs and supply instances should not the one points dealing with the Postal Service. The company has gotten some backlash for its plan to replace its fleet of delivery trucks. The Environmental Safety Company and Democratic lawmakers have argued the plan includes the acquisition of too many gas-powered autos and too few electrical ones.

The Postal Service has mentioned it would make 20% of its new autos battery-powered within the preliminary $2.98 billion order for 50,000 autos. It plans to purchase as many as 165,000 new vehicles.

However earlier this week, Oversight chairwoman Maloney despatched a letter to DeJoy in search of paperwork about the environmental analysis the USPS used in its decision. “I’m involved that the Postal Service relied on flawed assumptions to justify the acquisition of gas-powered vehicles whereas underestimating the price financial savings and environmental advantages from electrical autos,” Maloney wrote.

This follows Government Accountability Office testimony throughout an April Home listening to {that a} Postal Service evaluation used to justify its buying plan was defective, by overstating EV upkeep prices and understating fuel costs. In the meantime, 16 states together with California and New York have sued to require the Postal Service to complete a more thorough environmental review earlier than making the purchases.

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No matter these points, DeJoy has executed a great job establishing the Postal Service for achievement within the long-term, mentioned Gaston Curk, of OSM Worldwide. The delivery firm, headquartered close to Chicago, companions with USPS for last-mile supply.

“The viability of the put up workplace is powerful,” he mentioned. “It is simply going to take some years to essentially get it again within the form that we’d like it to be in.”

However there could also be some short-term ache for USPS prospects. “Inflation and oil costs actually have an enormous impact (on the Postal Service),” Curk mentioned. “Till that will get stabilized I believe we’re going to see some fairly unlucky, however wholesome will increase in postage prices.”

Contributing: The Related Press

Observe Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.



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