Optimize Customer Communications to Ease 2015 Postal Rate Changes

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Typically, a postal rate increase takes place in January of a new year, but this October, Patrick Donahoe, United States’ Postmaster General, announced there would not be a January 2015 rate increase filing. Donahoe indicated they would most likely wait until after the first of the year, considering the court’s decision on the exigent rate increase case. He also said the earliest a price increase would occur be March or April. Recent suggestions in the postal community have reported the USPS will announce an increase for early spring—potentially late April.

As you may recall, in January 2014, the United States Postal Service (USPS) implemented a temporary exigency rate surcharge, which is still in effect today. The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) requires the surcharge to be removed after two years or until the USPS recoups their losses of $2.8 billion. The current surcharge will likely expire around August 2015. The standard Consumer Price Index allowed increase would be estimated at 1.3%-1.6%. The exigency surcharge was 4.3%. So, the longer the USPS waits, the better chance their next proposed increase would be closer to the 4.3% surcharge they are required to remove, which would reduce the amount of surcharge to be removed from current rates.

Despite not fully knowing when or how much the next postal rate increase may be, now is the right time to start looking for ways to optimize your postal program. Are there ways you can cut overall costs with your mail program? Some options to consider may include combining marketing efforts with transactional statements, optimizing printing to reduce the weight of the mail piece or partnering with a provider who can offer you postal management and commingled mail benefits. If you have specific questions on how you can optimize your program to be ready for likely 2015 postal rate increases, contact your Venture Solutions’ account representative or contact me at dcdotzler@venturesolutions.com.

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About the author

Postal Compliance Officer

Diane has 40 years of experience in the areas of print and mail including production, commingling and postal compliance. As postal compliance officer, Diane ensures postal compliance for Venture Solutions and works to achieve optimal postal benefits for Venture’s current and new clients. Prior to joining Venture Solutions in 2003, Diane was serving as the production manager with IC System, which was acquired by Venture in 2003.