April USPS Rate Hike Less Likely?

USPSeagleMost of us in the direct mail and catalog industries have been bracing ourselves for expected April rate hikes from the USPS. Just how much those hikes might be was the main mystery, with the PRC telling the USPS to do over their plan, and rejecting that second rate proposal as well.

Now, one expert believes that the expected hikes, if any, may be delayed into June.

“A slow appeals court, delays in the usual inflation-based rate increase, and the end of the exigent surcharge could converge to create a wild ride for postal rates during the next few months,” notes this article in the Dead Tree Editions blog, one of our go-to sources on USPS news.

The article succinctly lays out the past 18 months of uncertainty, all centered around the exigent rate hike that may or may not expire. Critical in all of this is the absence of any ruling from the appeals court that heard oral arguments back in September.

“However, nearly seven months after oral arguments, there’s still no word from the court, which could increase the surcharge, extend it, make it permanent, or even reject it,” notes the article.

“Even if the USPS revisions are filed tomorrow, the new prices probably won’t take effect until at least early June. And legal wrangling could delay implementation once again,” the piece continues.

The whole thing makes our heads spin. Still, we get our work done and our publications mailed with this uncertainty lingering in the background. Rates aside, there is still quite a lot businesses can do to ensure they are using their postage budgets as wisely as possible.

Take your mail guy or gal out to lunch this week and pick their brains. Rate hikes aside, it’s sure to be a fascinating conversation.