Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Postal Service delays rate increase

March 28, 2015 03:06 PM

A rate increase that the United States Postal Service had planned to implement April 26 has been delayed.

The delay was not unexpected after the Postal Regulatory Commission twice declined to approve planned increases in advertising mail, periodicals and package services, saying it found those proposals were "riddled with errors."

The commission had approved increases for first class, special services and competitive products, but the USPS said it did not want impose the higher rates on a "piecemeal basis."

It said the agency’s board of governors voted to delay the entire increase until after the commission accepts rate changes for all mail categories.

"Rather than subject our customers to a piecemeal implementation of our new prices, the Postal Service has decided that the best course of action would be to wait until our complete price proposal is approved by our regulator," the USPS said in a statement released March 27. It did not indicate when it expected the issues to be resolved.

The USPS described the dispute as focusing on "a wide array of technical and other concerns that are primarily related to the complexities of the price cap and the manner in which it is calculated."

Federal law imposes a price cap on annual price increases to no more than the rate of inflation. But there is sometimes strong disagreement on how the higher prices are spread among products in the same mail classification.