Rate Update January 22, 2017
January 22 2017

Rate Update January 22, 2017

Posted By | Tina Jeremiah
Posted On | January 22 2017

The new prices include a 2 cent increase in the price of a 1 oz. First Class Forever stamp, returning the price to $.49 cents.


Thankfully, they have eliminated the 1/2 cent discount for metered rates for First Class letters.  Now meter users will enjoy a larger $.03 cent per piece discount on First Class letters 1 oz. to 3 1/2 oz.


The price of a First Class Forever stamp returns to $.49 - before the Postal Service was forced to reduce prices by the PRC as part of the exigent surcharge removal.


The last time stamp prices increased was in January 2014. 2017 price change filing does not include any price change for Postcards, for letters being mailed to international destinations or for additional ounces for letters.


The maximum weight for the following mail classes has increased from 3.3 oz to 3.5 oz. - First Class Automation and Nonautomation Machinable letters and Standard Mail Automation and Nonautomation Machinable letters.  Mailers that PRESORT their First-Class Mail will be able to send up to 3.5 oz. letters for the same price as a 1 oz. letter (previously same price for up to 2 oz.). 


Extension of Second Ounce Free to First Class Mail Letters Weighing up to 3.5 oz:  The 2nd ounce free price now goes up to 3.5 oz for commercial First Class Mail letters and First Class Mail Residual single-piece letters.  There is no longer additional pricing as each ounce is added to the weight. 


Weight for Standard Mail Updates - The following classes of Standard Mail have had updates to the weight at which prices change:

 2016 Weight  2017 Weight  Class of Mail
 3.3 oz.  3.5 oz.

Automation Carrier Route Letters

Automation Letters

Nonautomation Machinable Letters

 3.3 oz.  4 oz.


Nonautomation Carrier Route Letters1 

Nonmachineable Letters1 

 3.3 oz.  4 oz.

 Automation Flats1

Nonautomation Flats1

1Pieces over 4 ounces are subject to both a per piece and per pound price.


Beginning in 2017, the 3-digit presort price category is combined with AADC for the following mail classes:  First Class Mail Automation Letters and Postcards and Standard Mail Automation Letters.


Standard Mail has been rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail to better align the product name with a postal customer's use of this mail class.  The indicia on mailpieces should continue to display current standard mail abbreviations until notified by the USPS.


Flats Sequencing System (FSS) will now be removed.  Specific FSS-specific price categories in Standard Mail, Periodicals and Bound Printed Matter, introduced in 2015, are being removed in 2017 to encourage use of FSS zones.  This change will now ensure mailers pay for flats based on their volume density instead of the equipment flats are processed on. Other changes include increasing piece pound breakpoint from 3.3 oz. to 4 oz. for Marketing Mail Flats and Parcel shaped pieces  to encourage mailers to include more content, which will lead to more sales for mailers and support volume growth.  In general, Flats pricing will be the same whether the mailing is in an FSS zone or not.  This means that there are fewer rate categories; some columns and lines on postage statements have been removed to reflect this change.  All FSS preparation requirements, however, remain unchanged.


Repositionable Notes:  Repositionable notes are no longer supported.  References to them have been removed from postage statements.


Postage Statement Updates

Postage Statement2017 Revision
PS 3541
Sections related to the FSS facility and scheme have been removed.
PS 3600-FCM
The 3-Digit price category has been merged with AADC.
PS 3602-C
The term Standard Mail is changed to USPS Marketing Mail.
PS 3602-R and N

The term Standard Mail is changed to USPS Marketing Mail.

Part M is removed.

Lines related to the FSS facility and scheme have been removed.

The 3-Digit price category has been merged with AADC.

There is just one price category for Every Door Direct Mail® letters: Saturation.

PS 3602-EZ and NZ
The term Standard Mail is changed to USPS Marketing Mail.
PS 3605-R
In section A, the column for FSS Scheme has been removed. In addition, lines related to the FSS Scheme have been removed.

The new postage statements are available for mailings dated on or after January 22, 2017. These statements are labeled January 2017 in the page footer, and will be created automatically when you select a mailing date on or after January 22, 2017.


Rate Update Highlights for First Class, Priority & USPS Marketing Mail (formerly Standard Mail)

  • Metered First Class 1oz letter decreases from $0.465 to $0.46.
  • Stamped First Class 1 oz letter increases from $0.47 to $.049.
  • First-Class Postcards will remain at $.34 each
  • Additional ounces for First-Class mail will remain at $.21
  • Certified Mail base fee will increase to $3.35
  • Certified Mail Return Receipt Green Card fees will increase to $2.75 (2.9%)
  • Certified Mail Electronic Return Receipts will increase to $1.45
  • Certificate of Mailing increased overall by 6.1%
  • COD delivery increased overall by 2.5%
  • Signature Confirmation increased overall by 3.5%
  • Medial Mail and Library Mail both increased by 1.135%
  • International First-Class Letters at 1 oz. will remain at $1.15 to all international destinations
  • One ounce First-Class Flats will increase to $0.98, and 2 ounce pieces will now be $1.19.
  • First Class Parcels (retail) will increase .624% and pay one price up to 4 oz. at $2.67.
  • USPS Marketing Mail Letters rise to approx. 2.8%. 
  • Priority Mail Express has increased by 3.4% and Express Flat Rates have increased across the board.
  • Priority Mail has increased an average of 3.9% and Priority Flat Rates have increased across the board. See our Priority Rate Chart Quick Reference Guide.
  • Commercial Base prices increased by an average of 2.4%
  • Priority Mail International will remain the same for 2017
  • Media Mail and Library Mail increasing 1.135%.
  • First Class Package Services increasing 4.1%.
  • Parcel Select Ground - rates will increase 2.7% with some weights & zone groups actually decreasing.
  • Domestic Extra Services have gone up across the board - Certificate of Mailing, COD, Return Receipt, Registered Mail and Signature Confirmation are the main ones.
  • Presorted First Class Mail Letters/Postcards have an overall average price decrease of .25%, although many presort prices are increasing.


USPS Pricing Tiers

The USPS offers discounted pricing options to certain types of customers for specific types of mail classes.  Published pricing tiers include the following:

  • Retail Price: Retail pricing refers to the standard counter price for postage at the Post Office location.
  • Commercial Base Pricing (CBP):  Commercial Base Pricing refers to the discounted postage price for certain mail classes available to electronic postage users.
  • Commercial Plus Pricing (CPP):  Commercial Plus Pricing refers to postage prices with deeper discounts for certain mail classes available to qualified high-volume shippers.


Market Dominant vs Competitive

  • Market Dominant:  Mail classes are services for which the USPS effectively has a monopoly in the market. Market dominant mail classes include First-Class, Standard, Media, and Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter and FCM International.
  • Competitive:  Mail classes are USPS services that are similar to services offered by private carriers such as FedEx and UPS. Competitive mail classes include First-Class package service, Retail Ground (formerly Standard Post), Parcel Select Ground (formerly Parcel Select), Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package International Service, Priority Mail International & Express International and Global Express Guaranteed.

 For further clarification, information, and mailing equipment solutions, call Walz Label & Mailing at 877-971-1500.

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