Last week, the United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission stating they plan to institute a temporary price hike during their 2022 peak holiday season. Approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on August 9, the price increase will go into effect at midnight Central time on October 2 through midnight Central time on January 22, 2023.
Similar to last year’s peak pricing for the 2021 holiday season, the goal of the temporary price hike is “to ensure a successful peak season.” Affected rates include Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International rates will remain the same.
“Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. The Postal Service has some of the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping. These temporary rates will keep USPS competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume,” said the U.S. Postal Service in an August 10, 2022 news release.
In the news release, USPS also noted that they generally do not receive tax funding for operating expenses. They rely on revenue from the sale of postage, products and services to cover operating costs.
Temporary price increases
The PRC will review proposed pricing before the temporary price hike takes effect on October 2. A full list of commerce and retail pricing is available online at the USPS’s Postal Explorer website. Anticipated pricing, which is more complex than the temporary price hike in 2021, is as follows:
Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express: Commercial price increases started at $0.75. Retail price increases start at $0.95.
First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground: Commerce price increases start at $0.25. Retail price increases start at $0.30.
July 2022 price increases
This news follows permanent postal price increases that were announced in April and went into effect July 10, 2022.
“As inflation and increased operating expenses continue, these price adjustments will help with the implementation of the Delivering for America plan, including a $40 billion investment in core Postal Service infrastructure over the next ten years. With the new prices, the Postal Service will continue to provide the lowest letter-mail postage rates in the industrialized world and offer a great value in shipping,” said the USPS in an April 6 announcement. Price increases are as follows:
|Product||Previous Prices||Prices as of July 10, 2022|
|Letters (1 oz.)||$0.58||$0.60|
|Letters (metered 1 oz.)||$0.53||$0.57|
|Letters additional ounces||$0.20||$0.24|
|International letters (1 oz.)||$1.30||$1.40|
These prices include a $0.02 increase for First-Class Forever stamps.
No one likes to see price hikes whether they are permanent or temporary, but inflation is our current reality, and the USPS has to try to keep up. Increased prices are a necessary evil to continue to get our holiday mail and packages delivered on time. After all, the post office has to hire more staff and their prices – including fuel – are also rising. This affects consumers as well as subscription businesses who use commercial mail services for marketing (e.g., offers and postcards), as well as subscription boxes and other subscription materials impacted by the temporary price hike. This seems to be the norm now rather than the exception.