Postal Updates

Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

USPS to raise rates on pair of international mail services

July 13, 2017 02:30 PM

  • The United States Postal Service plans to raise rates for two of its international mail services Aug. 20: international priority airmail and international surface air lift. The International Mailers’ Advisory Group announced the rate hikes July 12, and the USPS confirmed the increases the next day.

By Bill McAllister — Washington Correspondent

An organization composed of international mailers is warning its members to expect “a significant mid-August price increase” on two popular products offered by the U.S. Postal Service.

The International Mailers’ Advisory Group (IMAG) said in a July 12 news release that increases are planned for international priority airmail and international surface air lift.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
    Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter

The association, based in Arlington, Va., said both services are popular with e-commerce mailers.

“The association is disappointed the Postal Service could not time these contract changes to the annual price adjustment in January, and avoid hitting customers with a second and unexpected price increase mid-year,” said Kate Muth, executive director of the mailing group.

“Regular, predictable price increases have been a constant refrain from the mailing industry. Unexpected pricing changes are disruptive and damaging to volumes and revenues, especially in a competitive market where customers have other choices,” she said.

In its news release, the association said the USPS discovered this spring that its current rates for the two products were not covering the cost of international mail consolidators who help prepare international shipments.

It said the increases will take effect Aug. 20.

David Partenheimer, a spokesman for the Postal Service, told Linn’s the new rates are the result of “renewing contracts for the international shipment of bulk, low-value, lightweight goods for high volume shipments.”

“Contracts currently in place will be replaced with contracts that will reduce the discounts for International Priority Airmail (IPA) letters and flats, and International Surface Airlift (ISAL). To mitigate the impact, many of the currently effective contracts were voluntarily extended to mid-August.”