It will cost more to send packages this holiday season in what the United States Postal Service (USPS) is calling a “temporary price adjustment.”
While the official nonprofit rates will remain the same, package shipping for items from website sales and large premiums for donors will be subject to the higher rates.
The planned peak-season pricing, which was approved by the governors of the Postal Service on Aug. 9, would affect prices on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels including Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International products would be unaffected.
If it is rubber stamped by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the temporary rates would go into effect on Oct. 2 and remain in place until Jan. 22, 2023. The PRC set an Aug. 25 deadline for public comments on the temporary rate adjustment.
According to data from the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers in Washington, D.C., the USPS reported a profit in the third quarter ending June 30 but noted that it resulted from a “one-time, non-cash benefit of $59.6 billion” that was received from the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022. With the benefit, USPS earned a profit of $59.7 billion in the third quarter, and a $57.5 billion profit for the first nine months of the fiscal year, which ends September 30.
“Anyone who mails USPS packages (Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground) between October 2 and January 22 will have to pay more than regular pricing,” explained Stephen Kearney, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. “I would expect quick approval by the regulator as its main concern is whether the products’ pricing covers their costs. Rate surcharges would increase the cost coverage.”
Kearney explained that orders of products from nonprofit website or catalogs need to be shipped, “as well as products shipped to events and gifts to major donors. Other things that are small and are low value, like calendars and t-shirts, can be shipped by nonprofit marketing mail,” said Kearney.
The anticipated price changes include:
Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express:
First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground:
A list of commercial and retail pricing can be found on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website at https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm