The U.S. Postal Service® filed Market Dominant and Competitive Price Changes with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on October 6, 2017. These filings were approved by the last member of the USPS Board of Governors (BOG) last November prior to his term expiring. The prices will go into effect on January 21, 2018, pending PRC approval.

The new prices, if approved, include a one-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail® Forever® stamp from 49 cents to 50 cents.

The proposed prices would raise Market Dominant prices approximately 1.9%, and most Competitive prices will average a 3.9% increase. While Market Dominant price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Competitive prices are adjusted strategically, since there is competition to what the USPS offers. Most parcel shippers, representing the majority of the volume, have Negotiated Service Agreements (NSAs), so they do not pay published prices.

The proposed Market Dominant price changes include:

Product Current Price Proposed Price
Letters (1 oz.) 49 ¢ 50 ¢
Letters Additional Ounces 21 ¢ 21 ¢
Letters (Metered) 46 ¢ 47 ¢
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.) $1.15 $1.15
Domestic Postcards 34 ¢ 35 ¢

The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate® retail price changes are:

Product Current Price Proposed Price
Small Flat Rate Box $7.15 $7.20
Medium Flat Rate Box $13.60 $13.65
Large Flat Rate Box $18.85 $18.90
APO/FPO Large FLat Rate Box $17.35 $17.40
Regular Flat Rate Envelope $6.65 $6.70
Legal Flat Rate Envelope $6.95 $7.00
Padded FLat Rate Envelope $7.20 $7.25

In early analysis, some mailers are seeing lower that average increases, while others are seeing increases well above the average.

The USPS, in its filing, stresses that this could be the “last case” filed under the existing rate cap constraints and believes the PRC’s 10-year review must look at replacing or revising the current CPI rate cap system.

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