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Postal Rates And Operations Face Review, Updates

April 11, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » The NonProfit Times

Regulators overseeing the U.S. Postal Service are considering a series of rate and operational changes. As part of this review, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is reviewing pricing rules the U.S. Postal Service has had in place since November 2020. At the time, the rules were scheduled to be reconsidered after five years, although the PRC left room for earlier review.

Calls for review come after industry stakeholders raised a number of concerns, according to a bulletin from Stephen Kearney, executive director at the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers in Washington, D.C. Issues mentioned include:

  • The magnitude of recent and future price increases
  • The frequency of rate adjustment proceedings, the Postal Service’s service performance
  • The effects that recent rate adjustments have had on mailers
  • The Postal Service’s overall finances and financial stability, the Postal Service’s ability to collect adequate data and the Postal Service’s business reputation

In particular, some mailers wonder whether the Postal Service is in a vicious circle in which rate increases result in volume declines, which lead to revenue shortfalls, which in turn result in further rate increases. According to Kearney’s bulletin, Market Dominant mail (which encompasses Standard Mail, First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Special Services) has declined from 121.6 billion pieces during FY 2021 to 109.5 billion pieces during FY 2023.

The volume declines have been accompanied by service declines. According to a PRC press statement from late March, 15 out of 27 Market Dominant products or categories failed to meet their service performance targets during FY 2023.

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