Postal Service prices may go up

BRIAN QUINN/DAILY NEWSPeter Guppenberger leaves the post office in Batavia after checking his company’s post office box Monday.

The price of postage for 1-ounce, metered letters may go up a cent in January. Postage costs for each additional ounce a letter weights may go up 5 cents.

The United States Postal Service said proposed price changes would start Jan. 24, filing a notice Friday with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

The proposed prices, approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors, would raise Mailing Services product prices about 1.8 percent for First-Class Mail and 1.5 percent for other categories. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the consumer price index, competitive International Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The board believes these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue, the Postal Service said in a press release.

If favorably reviewed by the PRC, the proposed Mailing Services price changes include:

• Letters additional ounce(s), increase from 15 to 20 cents;

• Letters (metered, 1 oz.), from 50 to 51 cents;

• Domestic Postcards, from 35 to 36 cents;

• Letters (1 ounce) to remain at 55 cents;

• Flats (1 oz.) to remain at $1.

Peter Guppenberger, owner of F.J. Guppenberger, Inc. of Batavia, says he’s not surprised that the Postal Service would consider raising prices and is not opposed to it.

“They’ve got to make money,” he said with a shrug Monday. “Your overhead’s high and the market’s changed, so they’ve probably got less consumers using the post office on a regular day. They’ve still got expenses ... It’s just economics.”

Asked if he uses the post office very often, he said his company has a post office box.

“We’ve had a PO Box for my business for a long time. Primarily we would use it (the post office) for that,” he said. “We don’t do a lot of mailing out, so, not very often, I would say. I don’t think it’s (the proposed price increase) a problem. It’s not going to make me use it any more or less.

“We’re a sales and marketing company, so we don’t do a lot of outbound mailing. Most of my contacts with our customers are either phone calls, in-person visits or emails or Zoom calls,” Guppenberger said. “Back when I was younger and this was my dad’s business, we would put out a mailer and use the post office a lot more. The way a lot of businesses communicate with customers has changed and we have as well.”

Guppenberger said personally, he doesn’t use the post office much, even on a personal basis.

“I don’t send a lot of letters, I’m not a big Christmas card (mailer). I would say my usage would stay the same no matter what.

Vern Saile said Monday that he has been away and hasn’t heard about the Postal Service’s proposal. He said he currently uses the Postal Service mainly to pick up his mother’s mail and that a price increase wouldn’t affect him much.

“We send packages out from time to time,” he said.

The Postal Service said unlike some other shippers, it does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery or regular Saturday delivery.

The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect. The complete Postal Service price filings with prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at prc.gov/dockets/daily. For the Mailing Services filing, see Docket No. R2021-1. For the International Shipping Services filing, see Docket No. CP2021-15. The price change tables are also available on the Postal Service’s Postal Explorer website at pe.usps.com/PriceChange/Index.

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