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The US Postal Service wants to hike stamp prices again in July.

BusinessThe US Postal Service wants to hike stamp prices again in July.

The US Postal Service filed a notice with its regulators to increase prices on First-Class “Forever” stamps to 73 cents from 68 cents, marking yet another price hike for the financially beleaguered federal agency.

If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the change would take effect in July, raising the cost of mailing services products by nearly 8%.

Stamp prices alone have soared 36% since 2019 when they used to cost 50 cents. The Postal Service last raised First-Class stamp prices by two cents in January, just a few months after it raised prices three cents in July 2023.

In a statement, the USPS said that the “price adjustments are needed to achieve the financial stability” sought in the agency’s 10-year plan announced by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in 2021 to make it more competitive and more modern.

“USPS prices remain among the most affordable in the world,” the statement said.

Other changes include domestic postcard prices increasing from 53 cents to 56 cents and international postcard prices increasing from $1.55 to $1.65.

It’s rare, but not unheard of, for the regulators to decline USPS requests; they did so in 2010. The Postal Regulatory Commission denied a price hike because, according to its statement at the time, USPS “failed both to quantify the impact of the recession on its finances and to show how its rate request relates to the resulting loss of mail volume.”

First-Class mail is becoming a smaller part of the Postal Service’s business because of online communication. The number of individual letters sent each year has fallen by about half in the past decade.

DeJoy, appointed during the Trump administration, has pursued sweeping changes during his tenure to try to bolster the agency’s finances. USPS expects to lose $6.3 billion in 2024.

The US Postal Service (USPS) is seeking another hike in stamp prices. This proposed increase, if approved, would raise the cost of a First-Class Forever stamp from 68 cents to 73 cents, marking an almost 8% jump. This comes just six months after the previous increase in January 2024.

The USPS cites financial stability as the reason behind the request, aiming to align with their 10-year plan for modernisation. While the price increase may seem small, it’s part of a larger trend of rising stamp costs.

“As changes in the mailing and shipping marketplace continue, these price adjustments are needed to achieve the financial stability sought by the organization’s Delivering for America 10-year plan,” USPS said in a statement. “USPS prices remain among the most affordable in the world.”

Ultimately, the Postal Regulatory Commission will decide the fate of this proposal which would take place on 15 July.

The evolution of mail prices
In the early days of American mail delivery, the system was far less standardised. The cost of sending a letter depended heavily on the distance it traveled. This inconvenient system persisted until 1847, a pivotal year for US mail. The brainchild of reformer Rowland Hill, a uniform rate system was established, charging the same price for letters regardless of distance within the country. This groundbreaking change significantly boosted efficiency and accessibility and the first US stamps, the 5-cent and 10-cent Black Bostons, were issued the same year.

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