BPO Bulletin

Postal Updates – The USPS is on the Move!

by Joe Freeman
September 29, 2016

The United States Postal Service has submitted rate change requests to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) that will impact mailers’ requirements and pricing going into 2017. There are also changes in naming conventions for some mail as well as weight and rate adjustments that will benefit mailers who are compliant with auto processing and proper preparation of mail pieces and shipments.

While there will be about ten to twelve changes, mailers can focus on three in particular that will have a definite impact. They are:

-- A one cent rate increase to go into effect 90 days after PRC vote and approval

-- Adding a “free ounce” to First Class Mail (current 1st and 2nd ounces are the same price; the change will include the 3rd ounce for letters)

-- Zip + 3 and Automated Area Distribution Center (AADC) mixed mail will be the same price

For budgeting purposes, the following steps can help you estimate next year’s postage costs:

-- January will be the effective date for changes so that your budgets can reflect a full year of the additional penny increase.

-- Use your “volume by weight” reports to determine full volumes that are processed at three ounces and convert the difference using the new cost—provided your mail practices remain constant or similar.

-- Whether you process mail in-house or outsource your presort services, review your presort reports to determine how many pieces will be impacted with the new “same price” for your AADC and your Zip + 3 prices.

The remaining changes to the USPS guidelines include:

-- Renaming “Standard Mail” to “USPS Marketing Mail”

-- Weight limits in the Standard Mail Flat category – raises the current 3.3 ounce limit to 3.5 and then caps the adjusted limit to 4.0 ounces before being priced at the parcel/package rate

-- Revisions to the Flats Sequencing Systems (FSS) mail that exceed the physical standards and weight limits

-- Elimination of the Qualified Business Reply Mail (QBRM) annual maintenance fee

-- Continuation of the annual fee for regular Business Reply Mail (BRM)

Feel free to visit the Mail Services page of our website for more information on industry trends and best practices including white papers, case histories and more.

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