By: Elliott Smith
The US Postal Service (USPS) is proposing a three cent increase in first class postage rates, to take effect in early 2014. NBC News reports that the USPS is proposing to increase the cost of mailing a domestic (1 oz or 28 gram) First Class letter by three cents to 49 cents.
The proposed increases outlined by USPS also include a rate hike of five cents for (1 oz or 28 gram) letters mailed from the US to “all international destinations” including Canada. The new letter rate to Canada would climb to $1.15 from the current $1.10 price.
These rate hikes are subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Postal Service is seeking the increases to help put a stop to massive financial losses caused by a decline in mail volume, and increased competition from the private sector, among other factors.
For many business shipping needs, especially order fulfillment, the increased reliability and superior tracking offered by private carriers often makes shipping via UPS or FedEx a more viable choice than using the Postal Service.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the USPS is facing pressure from Congress to become more efficient. A proposal floated earlier in 2013 for the USPS to save money by eliminating Saturday letter delivery was scrapped in April, when Congress passed a bill requiring Saturday letter delivery to continue, the LA Times reports.
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