The United States Postal Service (USPS) is hopping on the price-hike bandwagon.
The agency said Friday that it has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of proposed price changes on commercial packages for large volume customers, seeking to raise fees by an average of 9.5 percent.
If approved, the highest increases (for packages that weigh less than one pound) would start on January 17. The filing does not include any price increase for First-Class Mail or any other postal service mailing product such as the Forever stamp.
For Parcel Select products, prices for lightweight items will escalate by 23.5 percent, while ones weighing more than a pound will increase by an average of 3.1 percent.
Priority Mail prices, meanwhile, will rise by around 9.8 percent—the first increase in more than three years—and the agency’s first-class package service will climb by 12.8 percent.
“The Postal Service continues to enable America’s e-commerce growth and enhance its portfolio of mailing and shipping solutions to best meet the evolving needs of our business and residential customers,” USPS said in a statement.
The news follows last week’s announcement by United Parcel Service (UPS) that it will increase rates and surcharges by an average of 4.9 percent during the holiday season to address the impact of higher costs.
But UPS and FedEx, which both use the postal service’s Parcel Select to deliver packages to residential addresses, have cautioned the agency that it could price itself out of the market.
According to USPS, it “receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund our operation.” The proposed price increases would help to finance its infrastructure as well as “support our ability to provide prompt, reliable and efficient universal service to the American public.”