It looks like the USPS will file for a rate increase this October for January 2018, as we speculated they would in our last issue. We raised the uncertainty because normally only postal governors can take such an action, and USPS has none. A number of people are talking about the fact that, before he left the Postal Service last December, Governor Jim Bilbray approved 2018 rate increases for both competitive packages and monopoly mail. Expect 2 percent for all mail, but 3-5 percent for drop-shipped Marketing Mail letters.
For market dominant mail, the USPS usually waits until it has the latest monthly CPI cap data to develop actual rates and present them to the governors for approval. How Bilbray approved a rate filing about eleven months in advance will be interesting to learn. Did he approve variances from whatever the cap will be or did USPS managers assume a CPI number and have Bilbray approve those rates? Or was it some other legerdemain? And will it hold up at the regulator, in court, and in the court of public opinion? Just another dollop of uncertainty for mailers to absorb.