2018 shipping and mailing rate changes: dodging the insanity

Get ready for the 2018 USPS® rate increase for shipping and mailing services.

Tue Oct 31 16:13:00 EDT 2017

The change, it’s a’coming.

You’ve already experienced the most recent change, when the USPS® increased the rate for First-Class Mail® and retail parcels. Read about last year's changes at Postal Information.

The next change, scheduled to go into effect January 21, 2018, is for USPS Market Dominant products, which requires a longer legislative process for approval.

Early in October, the USPS made a public announcement about the intent to increase rates in January, with the final government approval occurring in December. The rate change is based on the Consumer Price Index combined with Unused Authority, which is the amount the USPS may have remaining from prior rate changes.

The overall change is expected to be approximately 2 percent. The changes, however, can vary across different categories. The USPS may also change Presort Preparation Requirements and simplify the process. In 2017, retail prices for a one-ounce stamp increased by one-cent, while the metered mail discount decreased, resulting in a three-cent differential between stamps at 49 cents and metered mail at 46 cents.

How can you prepare for the increase?

As a mailer or shipper, it’s difficult to actively prepare for changes that have not yet been finalized.

Paul Kovlakas, Director of Postal Regulatory and Industry Affairs for Pitney Bowes, has a few key recommendations. “Make sure you have a solution in place that allows you to meet all the postal requirements, such as the Intelligent Mail® package barcode (IMpb) system and tracking capabilities. Budget for at least a 2 percent increase. Consider applying some of your resources to software that will make the process easier. Depending on the associated costs, current technology enables you to personalize your mail with color, messaging, and even digital interactive video.”

At this early point in the process, the key is to know that changes are coming and you should be prepared by knowing what you have in place already and budgeting for a likely rate increase. 

In addition to keeping our clients informed about any changes in the mailing and shipping industry, Pitney Bowes has developed several solutions that address the pain points associated with postal rate changes.  

Keep up-to-date on postal rate changes at Pitney Bowes Postal Information.

Check out our mailing and shipping solutions and see how you can save.