As we all are likely aware, the US Postal Service has had some major issues recently due to the pandemic as well as other problems that have remained unaddressed for years. In an attempt to improve their shortcomings, they are now adjusting rates/pricing as well as the speed of some deliveries.
The good news is, not all postal services are impacted. The procedural changes are primarily designed to address First Class Postage deliveries that must travel considerable distances (931+ miles). There will not only be a change in cost, but a change in procedure; less outsourced air transport and more reliance on the USPS’s own fleet of ground transportation. Their claim is they have more control over ground transport as opposed their air partners.
Like any service raising prices, they are quick to provide justifications for doing so. While the default assumption is just the rising costs of goods and/or inflation, they had a unique situation to navigate.
In 2006 the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act capped price increases for mailing services at the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Their issue with the capped pricing is that it does not factor in the trend of declining mail volume, increased labor/retirement costs, or the fact that delivery points continue to grow nationwide. For these reasons, the Postal Regulatory Commission decided to de-link the CPI from postage rates given the USPS doesn’t function like an “average company”.
How This Will Affect Your Direct Mail:
What this basically amounts to for our clients using direct mail is a slight price increase for everyone and a few additional days for First Class deliveries 931+ miles away from our send/drop location here in St. Louis Missouri.
The reality is however, the USPS has always consistently had slower deliveries than the 3 days promised by the USPS. So these changes should be business as usual for many of our clients and an additional day or two delay for anyone sending to a market located 931+ miles away from St. Louis. The Post Office in now just providing a more accurate and achievable delivery timeframe (their goal is 95% on-time deliveries).