The United States Postal Service proposed a series of rate hikes on Wednesday to ensure a “successful peak season” later this fall.
Starting this October, Commercial Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate boxes and envelopes will be subject to a $0.75 increase, while Retail Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate boxes and envelopes will see a $0.95 increase in prices.
For long-distance shipments, the USPS sets prices based on distance zones: Zone 1 for packages shipped within a 50-mile radius of origin to destination, Zone 2 for packages shipped between 51-150 miles, Zone 3 for a 151-300 mile radius, Zone 4 for a 301-600 mile radius, and so on up to Zone 8. , which covers domestic shipments of 1,801 miles and above. Zone 9 consists of “freely associated states”, which include cities in Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.
Commercially shipped Priority Mail and Express packages between 0-10 pounds will see a $0.25 increase for zones 1-4 and a $0.80 increase for zones 5-9; Packages between 11-25 pounds will see a $.075 increase for zones 1-4 and a $2.80 increase for zones 5-9; Finally, packages between 26-70 pounds are subject to a $3.00 increase for zones 1-4 and a $6.50 increase for zones 5-9.
Other shipping methods, such as USPS’s First Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground and Retail Ground services, are subject to similar weight and zone-based price increases. Click here to see the full list of proposed changes.
“This seasonal adjustment will bring prices for the Postal Service’s commercial and retail customers in line with competitive practices,” the USPS release read in part. “These temporary rates keep the USPS competitive and provide the agency with revenue and additional costs in anticipation of peak-season volume.”
The Postal Regulatory Commission will review the changes starting on October 2 and running through January 22, 2023 before they take effect. The governors of the Postal Service approved them earlier this week.
The Postal Service has, in previous years, implemented similar temporary price increases to accommodate surges in shipping.
On the proposed holiday price hike, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday inflation will add $1 billion to the US Postal Service’s budget, requiring another rate hike request in January — but said the service is well-prepared for November. election
The Postal Service has already delivered nearly 40 million ballots to voters and a total of 550 million COVID-19 test kits, Dejoy said.
“Americans should be confident that the United States Postal Service is well prepared and will provide exceptional service during the upcoming November elections,” he told the board.
As for postal rates, Dejoy has previously warned that they will become necessary, especially in the face of inflation.
Rates last rose in July, with the price of a first-class Forever stamp rising from 2 cents to 60 cents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.