USPS Rate Hike Looms

USPSeagleIt’s been a wild ride, but the Postal Regulatory Commission has finally approved the USPS’ rate hike plan, and new prices are set to go into effect at the end of this month.

We’ve seen a lot of back and forth between the two organizations over the past several months, but it looks like things are now ironed out on their end as the PRC approved the plan on May 8, to be effective on May 31. Yes, that’s only 16 days.

Anyone who has been in the printing industry for more than a couple of weeks understand the implications this, as does Erik Cagle in Printing Impressions.

“From the standpoint of someone who does not have any skin in the mailing industry, the price ‘adjustment’ process seems deplorable to me,” Cagle writes. “Mailers now have to mobilize to implement the new rules and pricing into their jobs, some of which have already been prepared. There are plenty of other fine print details that need to be hammered out by mailers and supporting vendors.”

“One could point out that the marketing community and their mailing partners should have been prepared for an increase, one way or another, so the ‘cost certainty’ argument doesn’t hold water,” Cagle concedes. “But how about the old ‘the failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part’ adage? It goes both ways.”

Cagle suggests a 60-day grace period between a rate plan approval and its implementation.

“All we’re asking for is a little professional courtesy for the folks whose advertising mail volume makes it possible for Mr. ZIP to keep his lights on,” Cagle quips.

Indeed, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks. Now’s a good time to make sure you and your mailing house are working hand-in-hand getting those jobs into the mail stream properly. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what’s going up, what’s going down, and what’s staying the same, this is the easiest graphic we’ve seen on it: Postage Rate Changes May 2015.