USPS to Raise Postage Stamp Prices by 7.8 Percent Beginning July 14
USPS to Raise Postage Stamp Prices by 7.8 Percent Beginning July 14

By Naveen Athrappully

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is scheduled to raise the price of stamps for a second time this year by the end of this weekend, with the agency claiming the hikes are necessary to achieve “financial stability.”

In April, the USPS announced price changes slated to take effect on July 14. Overall, the new hikes will raise mail prices by roughly 7.8 percent, the agency said in a press release.

For 1 oz. domestic letters, stamp prices will rise from 68 cents to 73 cents. The price for delivering international letters is set to change from $1.55 to $1.65 per oz. Each additional ounce of mail, domestic or international, will cost 24 cents to 28 cents extra.

Moreover, the cost of sending domestic postcards is set to rise from 53 cents to 56 cents, with international postcard prices increasing from $1.55 to $1.65. The previous hike took place in January.

“As changes in the mailing and shipping marketplace continue, these price adjustments are needed to achieve the financial stability sought by the organization’s Delivering for America 10-year plan. USPS prices remain among the most affordable in the world,” the release said.

The Delivering for America plan, published in 2021, seeks to implement several changes in the USPS to improve financial and operational efficiency, transforming the organization into “one that is self-sustaining and high performing.”

On May 30, the Postal Regulatory Commission said that USPS’s July price increases were consistent with established regulations and that there was no legal basis for rejecting the updates.

However, the commission said it was concerned “that the Postal Service’s proposal does not reflect reasoned consideration of the potential widespread effects of its proposal, is not prudent, and is not consistent with the best interests of all stakeholders.”

The commission expressed worries about potential “substantial declines” in mailing volumes, the USPS’s financial situation, and the overall service performance of the postal agency’s products. It asked USPS governors “not to increase rates by the full amount permitted by law.”

“Rate increases have occurred more frequently than occurred previously,” the commission noted. It pointed out that some of the effects of the most recent rate hike from January 2024 “have yet to occur, let alone be understood.”

Moreover, “service performance and efficiency have declined by historic levels, adding to the stress on the mail market,” the commission said.

‘Unsustainable’ Price Hikes

Under the Delivering for America (DFA) plan, the USPS has been changing postal rates two times a year: once in January and the second in July.

The agency justifies the need for these rate hikes, claiming this helps “mitigate years of pricing imbalances and offset our exposure to inflation. By the end of DFA’s 10-year transformation and modernization, we expect our new pricing policy to generate $44 billion in additional revenue.”

“Rebalancing our pricing over the coming years will ensure our financial sustainability and restore our ability to invest in the future and provide the nation with appropriate, affordable prices.”

In April, a group of senators wrote a letter “calling out” the USPS leadership for the “unsustainable” price hikes.

The lawmakers blamed raw USPS policies for its financial situation. Between 2020 and 2022, the postal agency’s finances “improved,” the letter noted. From $9.2 billion in losses in 2020, the USPS registered a net income of $57 billion in 2022.

But after the new postage rate hikes began to factor in, “we began to see the disastrous effects in 2023.” USPS lost 11 billion pieces in mail volume and reported a net loss of $6.5 billion last year, the senators wrote.

“Instead of connecting the two issues, USPS blamed inflation, despite mail prices nearly doubling inflation in that time period.”

According to the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, the USPS raised postal rates between 29 percent and 83 percent between January 2021 and July 2024, depending on the product.

With the July 2024 price hikes, “the Postal Service continues, Titanic-esque, to sail inexorably toward the iceberg—clinging to its belief that the Delivering for America plan is the panacea to its ills notwithstanding all evidence to the contrary,” the alliance told in Postal Regulatory Commission in May.


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