As you know, the USPS can increase its rates annually as long as they do not exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is 1.696%. But in September, they made an emergency request for an increase totaling a whopping 5.9%!
The good news so far is that in late November, the PRC approved rate increases only up to the CPI; these will go into effect on January 26, 2014. Still in question is the emergency portion of the request, amounting to an additional hike of approximately 4.2%. Approval for this additional rate increase is being evaluated based on hardship and the PRC likely will not announce its final decision until sometime in January. Of note is that, historically, the USPS has never been successful in obtaining an emergency increase.
One other consideration when planning your postage budget is the delay in the Full Service IMB requirements. The PRC’s analysis has determined that mailers who do not meet the Full Service requirements, and are forced to use non-automated rates, would experience increases that exceed the CPI. The PRC’s position is that this would amount to creating a “classification change.” Thus, they have directed the USPS to continue offering the discount for those who meet the IMB requirements while the USPS provides additional documentation for analysis.
Our recommendation for budgeting purposes is to plan on a postage rate increase of at least 1.7% (consistent with the CPI). We’ll keep you up to date if the PRC approves any emergency increase to rates.
If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 443.539.2640 or drop us a line. We are happy to answer any questions about the rate increases and how they may impact your mailings.
We will publish the 2014 postage rates as soon as they are final. We’ll send you another email with a link to the new chart when it is ready; we know you’re anxious to add it to your bulletin board!