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Postal rates increase, new global stamp and services coming

In an effort to reduce costs, the postal service is making changes by increasing some rates and
continuing their plan to consolidate some mail distribution centers. Currently, local post offices
have not been named as possible closures among the 92 consolidations set for this year.

First Class Mail Pricing

Letters (1 oz.) 1 cent increase to 46 cents

Letters additional ounces Unchanged at 20 cents

Letters to international destinations (1 oz.)       $1.10

Postcards 1 cent increase to 33 cents


New Domestic Retail Pricing

(for Priority Mail Flat Rate)

Small box $5.80

Medium box $12.35

Large box $16.85

Large APO/FPO box $14.85

Regular envelopes $5.60

Legal envelope $5.75

Padded envelope $5.95

Originally published: Jan. 23, 2013
Last modified: Jan. 23, 2013

Heather Canter

The cost to send mail with the United States Postal Service will change next week, going up by one cent.

The price increase makes the cost of a single first class stamp 46 cents and goes into effect Sunday, Jan. 27. Other postal rates are increasing as well.

According to a statement from the USPS, the Postal Service Board of Governors met earlier this month “to discuss a wide range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures in the face of an unprecedented set of financial challenges, heightened by the inability of Congress to pass comprehensive postal legislation.”

USPS asked Congress to pass a proposed postal legislation that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said could “quickly restore profitability and put the organization on stable, long-term financial footing.”

During its last session, Congress made no decisions and passed no legislation in connection with the USPS request, but some compromises were discussed on both sides of the issue.

Delaying the end of Saturday mail delivery for as long as a year, giving the postal service more time to develop a profitable business model and allowing the funding of future retiree health benefits program during the course of 40 years rather than 10 years were three of the biggest compromises discussed.

Since 2006, the postal service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion and reduced the size of its career workforce by 168,000 or 24 percent.

Donahoe said USPS needs Congress to pass the legislation which would allow the postal service to put in place a business model that would assist them in meeting their evolving needs and being self-sufficient.

“We are losing $25 million per day. We have defaulted on $11.1 billion in treasury payments and exhausted our borrowing authority,” he said.

As USPS encourages Congress to make postal reform legislation a priority, they are continuing to make changes within. The board of governors has directed management to accelerate the restructure of operations to further reduce costs to strengthen postal service finances.

USPS is debuting its first global forever stamp, rate changes and adding several new shipping services products.

The new global forever stamp will allow customers to mail letters anywhere in the world for $1.10. The regular forever stamp at 46 cents is still available and allows customers to mail a one-ounce letter to any location in the United States, anytime in the future regardless of price changes.

New shipping services products will include free tracking for all competitive packages, such as retail priority mail and standard post, formerly known as parcel post.

Customers mailing critical mail letters and flats can now receive a signature upon delivery.

The postal service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Shipping and mailing prices can be found at http://www.prc.gov and at http://pe.usps.com. The postal service can be followed on http://www.twitter.com/USPS and at http://www.facebook.com/USPS.  

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.