New delivery times for U.S. Priority Mail Express service
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
The United States Postal Service has proposed a new delivery time for its Priority Mail Express service.
In a March 26 advisory notice to mailers, the agency noted that its one-day to two-day delivery schedule for Priority Mail Express currently allows three delivery times during the day: 10:30 a.m. (at select locations for an extra fee), noon or 3 p.m.
These would be replaced with a new guaranteed delivery time of 6 p.m. on the committed delivery date, the USPS said.
The Postal Service said the change would take effect no sooner than May 23.
Pricing of the service, which begins at $26.35, will not change, the USPS said.
Separately the agency proposed moving its bound printed matter rates from the market dominant category to its competitive product list.
This change is subject to approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Bound printed matter is the fifth mail product that the agency recently has proposed moving to its competitive product list, according to the Postal Service’s March 26 filing.
The other cases involved small parcels.
Bound printed matter, which is available to commercial mailers, is defined as catalogs, books and other printed matter weighing up to 15 pounds.
The Postal Regulatory Commission has warned the Postal Service that its bound printed matter product is not paying for its costs.
The USPS said the move could affect its pricing strategies to better align bound printed categories with its other shipping services.
As a market dominant product, price increases for bound printed matter are subject to a price cap that limits increases to no more than the rate of inflation.
That restriction will not apply if the move to competitive products is approved.
The Postal Service said the top 20 customers for bound printed matter accounted for 93.4 percent of the volume in the category.
In its March 26 advisory to mailers, the USPS said bound printed matter flats, typically catalogs up to three-quarters of an inch thick and weighing more than 1 pound, will remain a market dominant product.
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