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Breaking Down the Latest Changes from the USPS

Here we go again. Rate Case (Docket R2015-4) for April has been announced by USPS® and contains important changes mailers need to be aware of.

The USPS has finally released their much anticipated request to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for price changes, and it contains a number of interesting changes beyond just the cost of a mailpiece. Prices, in general, will experience a fairly large increase as the USPS has used both its consumer price index power as well as the remainder of their exigent authority. It is not clear at this time how the exigent prices will be applied to the postage, but the USPS appears to be considering a surcharge for certain rates. Final pricing will be released in the next few weeks.

There have also been structural changes to postage statements, with some Flat Sequencing System (FSS) rates being removed and other cells merged. The changes to FSS are not 100% clear yet, but it is obvious that the FSS rates for carrier routes are being revised on the new postage statements. In addition, there will be new discounts available for non-FSS carrier route flats if prepared to 5-Digit carrier route pallets.

There are other, more beneficial changes coming with the new rate case, including the elimination of the pesky 3.3-3.5 oz. standard letter category. All letter rates will now be straight piece charges. You will no longer have to account for weight to calculate postage for these types of letters.

If you would like to get familiar with these changes directly, you can read the full filing on the PRC website.

The changes are quite significant, and BCC Software will continue to monitor and break down rate and statement changes as they’re fully defined by the USPS and PRC. The changes are so significant that the USPS was not able to explain them in detail on the PRC filing. We expect to have the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) verbiage that will allow us to help you understand the full impact of the changes to your operation, including updates to presort rules and associated reporting.