U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices for 2018

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WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes to take effect Jan. 21, 2018. 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.

Postcard stamps and metered letters would also have a one cent increase. Today’s filing does not include any price change for single-piece letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for letters.

The proposed prices would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 1.9 percent, and most Shipping Services products will average a 3.9 percent price increase. While Mailing Services price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Services prices are adjusted strategically, according to market conditions and the need to maintain affordable services for customers.

The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:

Product Current Proposed
Letters (1 oz.) 49 cents 50 cents
Letters additional ounces 21 cents 21 cents
Letters (metered) 46 cents 47 cents
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.) $1.15 $1.15
Domestic Postcards 34 cents 35 cents

The new Shipping Services product prices would increase Priority Mail 3.9 percent and Priority Mail Retail an average of 0.8 percent. As in the past, the Postal Service will not include any surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday delivery.

The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail price changes are:

 Product Current Proposed
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

The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 21, 2018. The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at https://www.prc.gov/dockets/daily. For the Mailing Services filing see Oct. 6, 2017, Docket No. R2018-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Oct. 6, 2017, Docket No. CP2018-8.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

October 6th, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Posted in USPS

IMb Planning Tool MIA

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Where oh where has the IMb Planning Tool gone?  It was announced in May that it would be upgraded to use Informed Visibility data, setting the stage for future improvements.

“This IMb Planning Tool provides visibility into the mail stream; assists in planning drop shipments; and helps manage delivery expectations.”

However, the link returns an error.

https://iv.usps.com/imb-planning-tool/

Several questions come to mind.  Is the link broken (I don’t know, reported it today to PostalPro feedback, will update when I hear back).  Is the planning tool broken?  Is the planning tool gone?  Has nobody noticed until now?

Written by Lisa.Bowes

October 5th, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Posted in USPS

USPS ‘Informed Delivery’ Is Stalker’s Dream — Krebs on Security

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A free new service from the U.S. Postal Service that provides scanned images of incoming mail before it is slated to arrive at its destination address is raising eyebrows among security experts who worry about the service’s potential for misuse by private investigators, identity thieves, stalkers or abusive ex-partners. The USPS says it hopes to have changes in place by early next year that could help blunt some of those concerns.

Source: USPS ‘Informed Delivery’ Is Stalker’s Dream — Krebs on Security

Written by Lisa.Bowes

October 5th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Posted in USPS

USPS Comments on Recent Washington Post Story – Postal Employee Network

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Interesting USPS attack on the Office of Inspector General.  It is a shame that the USPS doesn’t work more closely and collaboratively with the agency tasked with “…play(ing) a key role in maintaining the integrity and accountability of America’s postal service, its revenue and assets, and its employees.”

With no Board of Governors, and with clear indicators that the Postal Service is not capable of running without oversight, the OIG’s mission should be embraced vs attacked.

Source: USPS Comments on Recent Washington Post Story – Postal Employee Network

Written by Lisa.Bowes

October 4th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Posted in USPS

U.S. Postal Service inspector general estimates billions of delayed mail pieces – The Washington Post

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Written by Lisa.Bowes

October 2nd, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Posted in USPS

RIBBS and PostalPro

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USPS Postal Pro went from “Coming Soon” to “Primary Source” overnight last night, in case you missed it.  RIBBS, the old, worn portal for USPS  information is being transformed to Postal Pro.

Good luck in your searching, folks.  I’m sure everyone is delighted.  Right?

https://postalpro.usps.com/

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 22nd, 2017 at 9:14 am

Posted in USPS

Federal Register – Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pilot of USPS Postal Carriers as Census Enumerators During the 2018 End-to-End Census Test

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The U.S. Census Bureau proposes a proof of concept study on the use of United States Postal Service (USPS) Postal Carriers as Census Bureau enumerators as part of the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.

Source: Federal Register :: Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Pilot of USPS Postal Carriers as Census Enumerators During the 2018 End-to-End Census Test

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 21st, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Posted in USPS

Alliance leads opposition to preferred rate change – Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers

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At stake: Nonprofit Marketing Mail rate increases of 3.3% to 6.9% on top of other increases USPS filing attempts to solve nonexistent problem The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, as it always does, took a strong position to support and protect …

Source: Alliance leads opposition to preferred rate change – Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers : Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 21st, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Posted in USPS

Informed Visibility Issue

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From USPS Informed Visibility department – (new and improved system)

Attention IV Users:

An unplanned infrastructure outage has occurred which is currently affecting the Informed Visibility® (IV®) application data processing.

The IV Mail Tracking & Reporting web application is still available. However, data provisioning is impacted. You may experience higher than normal latency for data feeds until the issue is resolved and application processing resumes. There will be a backlog for data processing to work through once service is restored. IV users will be notified once the issue has been resolved and the data processing backlog is caught up.

Thank you,

IV Communications Team

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 20th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Posted in USPS

Oh, What a Tangled Web

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Let me get this straight.  The USPS can raise rates in January, even though they have no Board of Governors, because they secretly got the proposed rates approved by the sole survivor on the Board before he departed.  But after previous, continued communication to mailers (who, like most responsible, profitable businesses have to set their budgets for the coming year more than ten minutes in advance) that the current USPS promotional rates and programs would be extended to next year as-is, the announcement comes (well after most budget ships have sailed) that since there is no BOG, there will be no promotions. Correct?

Something smells rotten in Denmark.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

September 20th, 2017 at 9:34 am

Posted in USPS