USPS Is Making More Changes to Your Mail, Starting June 13
THE AGENCY IS ADJUSTING PRICES, SIMPLIFYING SHIPPING SERVICES, AND ROLLING OUT NEW STAMPS.
The last two years have been a whirlwind for postal customers. In March 2021, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) revealed that it would be undergoing a 10-year overhaul in hopes of regaining financial and operational stability. Known as the Delivering for America (DFA) plan, this initiative has already brought about a number of changes to customers from product price hikes to slower delivery services. And now, the agency is providing insight into more adjustments set for this summer. Read on to find out what changes you can expect from the USPS, starting June 13.
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The USPS previous announced plans to simplify its shipping services.
Customers can expect to see multiple changes being made to their deliveries throughout the Postal Service's 10-year transition. As part of the DFA plan, the USPS has actually been working to simplify its package shipping options since last summer. In July 2022, the agency filed a proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to reduce three of its ground shipping options into one offering. The PRC granted approval for this change on Oct. 28, allowing for USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Select Ground to be incorporated into a singular enhanced First-Class Package Service (FCPS) product.
This package streamlining process continued into the new year. In Feb. 2023, the Postal Service announced that it is planning to replace its existing FCPS category with a new product called USPS Ground Advantage "as part of its overall strategy to enhance its shipping offerings." According to the agency, USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and First-Class Package Service will be all incorporated into USPS Ground Advantage—which it said at the time was anticipated to launch in summer 2023.
As this timeframe draws nearer, we are finally getting more insight into what we can expect from this new product offering.
The agency is now providing more information about this change.
In a May 10 press release, the USPS revealed exactly what it has planned in terms of the new USPS Ground Advantage shipping service. According to the agency, this offering is set to "provide a simple, reliable and more affordable way to ship packages up to 70 pounds in two-to-five business days." The Postal Service has now established proposed pricing for USPS Ground Advantage, which will actually reduce shipping prices for customers.
"Published prices for USPS Ground Advantage will decrease 1.4 percent relative to current Parcel Select Ground and First-Class Package Service pricing," the agency explained. "USPS Ground Advantage Retail prices will decrease 3.2 percent and USPS Ground Advantage Commercial published prices will decrease 0.7 percent."
This new offering will also feature $100 included insurance and free pickup on a carrier's route, as well as package forwarding and return to sender endorsements. If favorably reviewed by the PRC, the USPS Ground Advantage service is expected to launch on July 9.
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Another price adjustment is also set for that same day.
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But customers should also be aware of another upcoming change that will negatively impact their postal costs. Last month, the USPS announced that it had filed notice with the PRC of proposed plans to raise First-Class Mail prices by approximately 5.4 percent. If favorably reviewed, these higher rates will go into effect the same day shipping service prices are expected to decrease: July 9. The new mailing services pricing will include a three-cent increase in the price of a First Class Mail Forever stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents.
"As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the agency stated in its release. "The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world."
But the USPS will make a different update for customers first.
The Postal Service isn't only planning to shake up its prices this summer, however. In a May 4 press release, the USPS announced that it will be rolling out a new waterfall stamp series soon. This collection will be released on June 13 with a dedication ceremony at Yellowstone National Park. Several well-known waterfalls will be included in the series such as the Grand Canyon's Deer Creek Falls, Niagara Falls, and the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.
"The U.S. Postal Service is celebrating the variety and beauty of American waterfalls with 12 new stamps," the agency said. "Each stamp features a photograph with the name of the waterfall and state in which it is located beneath it."