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Campus Mail Tips: New USPS Pricing

New postage rates will go into effect on May 14th.  Below is an announcement we received from the US Postal Service about some of the changes that will be going into effect shortly as well as some still proposed items.  Included at the end of the announcement is a link to new domestic rates and fees tables in both HTML and PDF formats. 
Monday | March 19, 2007

Approve Forever Stamp and shape-based pricing; delay implementation and request reconsideration for some mail classes
The Postal Service Governors today approved an increase in the price of a First-Class stamp to 41 cents, authorized the issuance of the Forever Stamp, approved shape-based pricing and set a May 14 implementation date for these changes. However, they delayed implementation of periodicals and requested reconsideration for some mail classes.
“We praise the PRC for its early and thoughtful recommended decision,” said Board of Governors Chairman James C. Miller III, “and appreciate the comprehensive analysis the Postal Service staff provided in its rate proposal.” 
Forever stamp
The Governors approved the Forever Stamp, which will sell at the new 41-cent First-Class Mail one-ounce letter rate. The value on these stamps will always be the one-ounce letter rate and can be used for any future one-ounce letter mailing without extra postage.   
“The Forever Stamp is a consumer innovation that delivers convenience and value and will help ease the transition for mailing letters when prices change,” said Chairman Miller. 
Shape-based pricing
The new prices also reflect differences in the costs of handling letters, large envelopes (flats), and packages. Mailers are encouraged to consider options available to reduce postage costs. For example, if the contents of a First-Class large envelope are folded and placed in a letter-sized envelope, mailers can reduce postage by as much as 39 cents per piece.

Request for reconsideration
The Governors, however, requested reconsideration of the PRC’s rate recommendations for Standard Mail flats (catalogs), the non-machinable surcharge for First-Class Mail letters and the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box.

  • Standard Mail flats – The Governors are concerned that price increases recommended by the PRC may impose an unnecessary degree of “rate shock” on the catalog industry, particularly small businesses. The recommended increase for some catalog mailers is as much as 40%, which is more than double what the Postal Service had proposed.
  • Non-machinable surcharge –The PRC decision on First-Class Mail two-ounce and three-ounce letters does not differentiate between machinable and non-machinable. The Governors believe this warrants further analysis to ensure there are incentives for mailers to provide letters that can be processed at lower cost on efficient sorting equipment. 
  • Priority Mail Flat Rate Box – The PRC recommended a rate of $9.15 for the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box, which is $1.05 above the current rate and 35 cents higher than the Postal Service proposal of $8.80. The Governors believe a rate below $9 would be more appropriate for this popular consumer and business product and would be cost-justified. 

Delayed implementation
The Board of Governors has also delayed implementation of the new prices for Periodicals (magazines and newspapers) until July 15, 2007, to allow time for the publishing industry to update computer software and adjust to the complexity of the PRC-recommended rate structure for periodicals. USPS had proposed a single container charge for periodicals to encourage efficiency, but the PRC recommended 55 different prices based on container type, entry point and level of sortation.

New Domestic Rates and Fees tables in HTML and PDF formats for the price change effective Monday, May 14, 2007, are now available on