USPS® rings in the New Year with new rate changes

By Paul Kovlakas

When you wake up on New Year’s Day this January, postal rates admittedly may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Fair enough – but all the more reason you should be planning now to get out ahead of the planned USPS postal rate changes, and how they may impact your mailing bottom line in 2017.


The U.S. Postal Service recently announced a slate of newly proposed Mailing Service price changes. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), these new rates would be scheduled to go into effect on January 22, 2017.


PRC hasn’t signaled its approval of the rate changes as of this writing, but if and when they do, here’s what you need to know:


Which Rates Are Increasing?

·         First-Class Mail® Letters: $0.47 to $0.49

·         First-Class Mail Flats: $0.94 to $0.98

·         First-Class Mail Parcels (Retail): Overall 0.624 percent price increase; parcels between 0 to 4 oz. will continue to cost $2.67

·         Media Mail®: Overall 1.135 percent price increase

·         Library Mail: Overall 1.135 percent price increase

·         Certificate of Mailing: Overall 6.1 percent increase

·         Collect on Delivery: Overall 2.5 percent increase

·         Return Receipt: Overall 2.9 percent increase

·         Signature Confirmation™: Overall 3.5 percent increase


Which Rates Are Decreasing?

·         Single Piece Metered Letters: $0.465 to $0.46; this brings the discount to $0.03 off the price of stamped letters, an increase from the current half-cent discount and two cents more than when such discounts were initially announced.

·         Overall prices for Presorted Letters/Postcards are decreasing slightly, by 0.250 percent, exclusively due to the reduction in the price of 5-Digit Automation Letters.

·         Today, First-Class mailers that presort their mail can send up to 2 ounce letters for the same price as a 1 ounce letter. The USPS is proposing to extend the 1 ounce price all the way up to 3.5 ounces. Mail more for the price of only 1 ounce!

Additional Service Changes

·         Adult Signature Service will be made available for First-Class Mail Parcels (Retail), starting at $2.67 for a 1 oz. item

·         Collect of Delivery (COD) will become a Hold for Pickup only service. Items mailed as COD will be held at the delivery post office, and the recipient will be notified to visit their post office to pick up and pay for the item.

·         Standard Mail will be rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail


Additionally, the above rate changes do not pertain to Shipping Services, such as Priority Mail®, Priority Mail Express® or First-Class Package Service. USPS has separately announced its proposed 2017 rates for Shipping Services.

Come January 2017, automatic postage meter updates will provide Pitney Bowes customers with the largest-ever Metered Mail CBP discount. Check out Pitney Bowes Office Shipping and Postage Meters to take advantage.

Stay tuned to Pitney Bowes for more news and updates on USPS rate changes.