USPS Prices Finally Finalized!

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) finally approved all of the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) proposed price increases. The PRC previously approved the proposed prices for First-Class Mail and Special Services, but remanded the rest of the mailing categories to the USPS, not just once, but twice! These remands forced the delay of the price implementation date, which was originally set for April 26, 2014. The new implementation date for these approved prices is now May 31, 2015.

Again – the final implementation date for these price changes is May 31, 2015.

Overall Changes
The new prices are available in Excel and .csv format on the Postal Explorer web site. The draft postage statements are also available on the same web site. Although this information is still marked as “proposed” and “draft” on the web site, they will be changed to “finalized” within the next few days.

Software Updates
Mailers will need to update their mailing and shipping software to accommodate these new prices. There is also a new Mail.dat file format specification going into effect at the same time, version 15-1.

Because it took so long to get approval of the proposed changes, it’s been quite a challenge for software providers to complete the coding necessary for these changes. As a result, mailers will also have a tight schedule to get the software updates installed and tested in time for the pricing implementation date.

Mailers should work closely with their software providers to download and install all the pertinent software updates as soon as they become available.

There will also be a mandatory PostalOne! update on May 17, 2015, which will require mailers who submit eDoc to download and install the new USPS MDR Client software as soon as it becomes available on the 17th.

Is There Anything Else?
Of course there is! In addition to the price changes, the USPS is offering the following four (4) new incentives/promotions:
1. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion, May – July 2015
2. Advanced and Emerging Technology Promotion, May – October 2015
3. Color Transpromo Promotion, June – November 2015
4. Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion, July – December 2015

Additional Resources
Window Book is targeting a release date of May 14, 2015 for its software products impacted by these changes. Software subscribers may sign up to receive email notifications for any of our software product updates on our web site.