Post office rates rise for ‘holidays’ again
For the third year in a row, the United States Postal Service has announced a rate increase for what they call “peak holiday season.”
If you think that means shipping is going to cost more after, say, Black Friday, you’re wrong: Surge pricing starts Oct. 2 and runs through Jan. 22, 2023. The end date is a new twist: In 2020 and 2021, these surcharges ended Dec. 26.
As the calendar years might indicate, these price surges have their origins in “increased expenses and heightened demand for online shopping package volume due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected holiday ecommerce,” to quote the USPS in 2020.
The 2022-2023 increase is explained as necessary “to cover extra handling costs to ensure a successful peak season.”
The increases vary by package size, service and zone, and the range can be seen at this link: bit.ly/USPSrates.
Retail consumers — that is, people using USPS to ship their own items — may most directly notice the increase of $0.95 to every USPS Priority Mail flat-rate item. Commercial rates are also due for increases.
The price surge still needs approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which is almost certain to give its okay. But that process reflects USPS’s singular status as a government agency.
Private shippers can — and do — raise rates when they feel they can. A range of surcharges from UPS and FedEx are already currently in effect.
If you have complaints, compliments or suggestions for the USPS, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). With rate-related comments, see prc.gov or call (202) 789-6800.
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