USPS Files for a Second 2021 Price Increase

Released June 4, 2021

On Friday, May 28, 2021, the U.S. Postal Service filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) a price adjustment notice to become effective August 29, 2021, on “Market Dominant” products.

Unlike previous price increases which were solely based on changes in the Consumer Price Index – this increase includes additional pricing authority provisions that were granted to the Postal Service by the PRC in their “10-Year Review” final ruling of December 3, 2020. The Postal Service also decided to use “Banked Unused CPI Authority” from previous years and a provision that allows up to a 2% increase on any Mail Class that is not compensating for its attributable costs. The combination of these price increase decisions will result in an overall increase of 6.9% within the Market Dominant product category. The table below illustrates the proposed increase at the Mail Class level by pricing authority component and the percentage utilized.

Dropping a letter in the mail
Mail Class New CPI 2021 Earned Authority Prior Years Banked Unused Authority Non-Compensatory Authority New PRC Density Adder Authority New PRC Retirement Adder Authority Total Available Authority Total Authority Utilized
First-Class Mail 1.244% 0.012% 0.0% 4.500% 1.062% 6.816% 6.814%
Marketing Mail 1.244% 0.010% 0.0% 4.500% 1.062% 6.816% 6.815%
Periodicals Mail 1.244% 0.002% 2.000% 4.500% 1.062% 8.808% 8.806%
Package Services 1.244% 0.006% 2.000% 4.500% 1.062% 8.812% 8.804%

The chart below provides a more detailed picture of the products within each of the major mail classes. Products with percentages displayed in “red” exceed their respective class average. As is currently the case in 2021, this filing includes continuation of the six promotional discounts in Calendar Year 2022, which include: Emerging & Advanced Technology; Earned Value Reply Mail; Personalized Color Transpromo; Tactile, Sensory and Interactive; Mobile Shopping; and Informed Delivery. A copy of the USPS filing notice (257 pages) can be found on the PRC Website.

The PRC will likely take 30+ days (approximately July 1 or later) to review the filings and confirm whether the proposed price increases are consistent with applicable postal law. If approved by the PRC, increases are scheduled to take effect on August 29, 2021.

USPS (Proposed) Second 2021

Avg. Price Increases (revised 6/4/2021)

Class of Mail Proposed % Increase
First-Class Mail (Overall) 6.184
Single-Piece Letters/Postcards 5.001
Presort Letters/Postcards 7.440
Flats 10.318
International - Outbond Single-Piece 8.351
Inbound Letter Post 6.574
Marketing (Standard) Mail (Overall) 6.815
Letters 6.581
Flats 8.819
Parcels 9.367
High Density / Saturation Letters 5.992
High Density / Flats and Parcels 5.454
Carrier Route 8.866
Every Door Direct Mail 5.208
Periodicals Mail (Overall) 8.806
Outside County 8.832
Within County 8.806
Package Services (Overall) 8.804
BPM Flats 7.453
BPM Parcels 6.666
Media and Library Mail 10.865
Alaska Bypass Service 6.969

Additional highlights from the USPS filing by major class of mail include:

First-Class Mail:

  • The one-ounce Single-Piece Stamped Letters price will increase by 3 cents to 58 cents.
  • Meter price is increasing by 2 cents, from 51 cents to 53 cents.
  • Letter additional ounce unchanged at 20 cents.

Marketing (Standard) Mail:

  • Auto Letter drop-ship discounts to NDC and SCF increasing 0.1 and 0.3 cents, respectively.
  • Flat drop-ship discounts to SCF increasing by 0.1 cents.
  • 1-cent discount for High Density Flats on 5-Digit (direct) pallets.

Periodicals Mail:

  • Creates a single price for all zone-based advertising pound prices.
  • Lower pound prices to facilitate shifting to uniform advertising zone.
  • Continuing the initiative of lower prices for tubs versus sacks for mail entered at SCF.

Package Services Mail:

  • Above average increases to the Media/Library Mail products to cover attributable costs.

RRD Postal Affairs will continue to provide you with important updates as they become available.

Additional information (i.e. price charts) including RRD unique postal calculators and tools will be updated and tested over the next several weeks. Please reach out to your RRD Account Representative to help you discover how this price increase will affect your business. For questions, please contact Postal.Affairs@rrd.com.

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