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United States Postal Service (USPS): Rate Increase Effective May 12, 2008
March 18, 2008, Volume 54, No. 25

Please be advised of the following announcement from Penn Mail Services.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced that it will adjust prices for the following mailing services as of May 12, 2008:

First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and Special Services as well as shipping services.

While the charge for the first ounce of a first-class letter will rise to $0.42, the price of each additional ounce will remain at $0.17; therefore, the postage for a two-ounce letter will increase by one penny to $0.59.

Some highlights of the upcoming increase include:

• No change in the First-Class Mail single-piece additional-ounce price.

• Lower additional-ounce price for presorted First-Class Mail letters.

• Lower pound price for Standard Mail saturation and high-density flats.

• Shape-based pricing for First-Class Mail International letters, flats and parcels.

• First-Class Mail International price groups expand from five to nine groups.

Summary of Select New Rates
Mail Type

 New Rate

First-Class Mail letter (1 oz.)


First-Class Mail letter (2 oz.)




First-Class Mail large envelope (2 oz.)


Certified Mail


First-Class Mail International to Canada and Mexico (1 oz.)


First-Class Mail International to all other countries (1 oz.)


Shipping Services
The USPS will adjust prices for shipping services—Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, and International Mail. For the first time pricing includes commercial volume and contract prices, rebates, online price reductions, and other new incentives.

Pricing Highlights:

Express Mail is switching to a zone-based pricing system, resulting in customers paying less for nearby destinations. Customers will receive a 3 percent price reduction by purchasing Express Mail online or through corporate accounts. Additional price reductions are available for those who ship quarterly minimums.

Priority Mail will have an average 3.5 percent savings for customers who use electronic postage or meet other requirements.

Parcel Select—the “last mile” delivery to every door—will feature pricing and volume incentives for large- and medium-size shippers.

Parcel Return Service will move entirely to a weight based pricing system, resulting in significant price reductions for many lighter packages.

As a result of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that was signed into law on December 20, 2006, the USPS is allowed to increase rates with 45 days notice, as long as increases fall within the rate of inflation for the previous 12 months. Consistent with the Act, the USPS plans to adjust prices for mailing services each May. The USPS plans to provide 90 days’ notice of its new prices each year in order to help mailers prepare for the change. The Postal Regulatory Commission calculated the rate of inflation at 2.9 percent through January, limiting the first-class rate to an increase of just over a penny. As a result, the average increase per category does not exceed the Consumer Price Index. First-Class mail will increase by 2.88%, Standard Mail by 2.87%, Periodicals by 2.71%, Package Services by 2.87% and Special Services by 2.84%.

The new detailed rate charts are available on the USPS website, www.usps.gov.




Almanac - March 18, 2008, Volume 54, No. 25