WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The United States Postal Service announced Friday it plans to raise postage rates for letters, postcards, and other mail services by as much as 6.9 percent this summer, as part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s plan to overhaul the agency’s declining finances.
It’s the latest installment of DeJoy’s plan to erase a projected $160 billion in liabilities over the next decade. Earlier this year, DeJoy announced the 10-year “Delivering for America” plan, which calls for longer delivery windows, shorter post office hours, and fewer staff members.
The rate changes, which would take effect in late August, would increase the cost of first-class stamps from 55 to 58 cents., an increase of 6.8%, “to offset declining revenue due to First-Class Mail volume declines,” USPS said in a release.
DeJoy says the changes are necessary to halt billions of dollars in losses and put the agency on the path to profitability — and on Friday he said raising postage rates are part of the effort to boost revenue.
“For the past 14 years, the Postal Service has had limited pricing authority to respond to changing market realities,” DeJoy said in a statement. “As part of our 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service and the Board of Governors are committed to judiciously implementing a rational pricing approach that helps enable us to remain viable and competitive and offer reliable postal services that are among the most affordable in the world.”
The USPS said the U.S. rates are far below the average of what it costs to mail a letter in other countries, even after the increase. According to the postal service, mailing a letter costs 77 cents in Japan, 97 cents in Germany, and $3.40 in Italy. The international average is $1.32.
According to the USPS, mail volume dropped by 28% over the last 10 years, about 46 billion pieces, and continues to decline.
Domestic postcards cost is set to increase from 36 to 40 cents to mail, and the cost of outbound international letters would increase by a dime to $1.30.