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Postal Rates Set to Change Jan. 22

Postal Service Announces Shipping Prices for 2012

First-Ever Express Mail Flat Rate Box Debuts When Prices Change January 22

WASHINGTON — Postal Service customers will be able ship a box for overnight delivery anywhere in the country for one price regardless of weight (up to 70 lbs) starting Jan. 22. That’s when the Express Mail Flat Rate Box debuts and new Shipping Services prices take effect.

“The introduction of the Express Mail Flat Rate Box leverages the success of our Priority Mail Flat Rate advertising campaign and further positions the Postal Service as the best value in the shipping business,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer. The new box, priced at $39.95, for domestic mailing, will be available for customers who need overnight service for items larger than what can be placed in an Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope.

Other Express Mail changes include lower retail prices for half- and one-pound packages and commercial packages to local and close-in areas. The new retail price for the Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope is $18.95.

The overall price change for all Shipping Services is 4.6 percent, with Priority Mail prices increasing an average 3.1 percent and Express Mail prices increasing an average 3.4 percent. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective Jan. 22, 2012, the same day Postal Service Mailing Services prices take effect. Shipping Services price filing is available on the PRC website at www.prc.gov and the new Mailing Services prices are available at http://pe.usps.com.

New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

    Small box — $5.35
    Medium box — $11.35
    Large box — $15.45
    Large APO/FPO/DPO box — $13.45
    Regular envelope — $5.15
    Legal-size and Padded envelope — $5.30

Commercial base Priority Mail pricing will offer an average 6.8 percent discount off retail prices for customers using online and other authorized postage payment methods. A new, larger Regional Rate Box C (12” x 12” x 15”) will be added to the existing two sizes. If any of the three Regional Rate Boxes is entered at retail, a 75-cent additional charge will be applied.

Also new for 2012 is Package Intercept for commercial mailers, available through a customer interface on Business Customer Gateway. For $10.95 plus Priority Mail postage, customers can request mail be intercepted before final delivery is attempted to the initial delivery address. The shipment can be returned to sender, held for pick up at a Post Office, or redirected to an alternate address. Intercepted packages are shipped using Priority Mail.

First-Class Package Service (formerly known as First-Class Mail commercial parcels and now a Shipping Services product) will see an overall price increase of 3.7 percent. The Intelligent Mail package barcode will provide free visibility to these parcels.

Prices will also be adjusted for other Shipping Services products and services, including Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, International Mail, Premium Forwarding Service and Post Office Box Service.

Postal Service Adjusts Mailing Services Prices for 2012

Penny Increase in Price of Forever Stamps First Since May 2009

 WASHINGTON — Beginning Jan.22, it will cost just a penny more to mail letters to any location in the United States, the first price change for First-Class Mail stamps (Forever stamps) in more than two and a half years. The new 45-cent price for Forever stamps is among price changes filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 22, 2012, include:

    Letters (1 oz.) – 1-cent increase to 45 cents
    Letters additional ounces – unchanged at 20 cents
    Postcards – 3-cent increase to 32 cents
    Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.) – 5-cent increase to 85 cents.
    Letters to other international destinations – 7-cent increase to $1.05

Prices also will change for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services. Today’s announcement does not affect Express Mail and Priority Mail prices. More information on the new pricing is available at
http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2011/pr11_factsht_pricechng_1018.pdf.

“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.”

While actual percentage price increases for various products and services varies, the overall average price increase across all mailing services is capped by law at 2.1 percent, the rate of inflation calculated based on the Consumer Price Index.

For business mailers, today’s announcement offers good news for First-Class Mail Presort mailers. When the new prices go into effect on Jan. 22, the second ounce for presorted letters will be free. “This gives companies expanded opportunities to advertise new services and products to their customers as part of bill and statement mailings,” said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer.

And new for all customers is a 3-month pricing option to rent PO Boxes, perfect for people on the move and others who need a PO Box for a short time period.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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