Stamp Rise To 45 Cents As Postal Service Continues To Lose Business


stampsAfter less than a year at 44 cents a crack, the cost of mailing a letter is going up again.

On Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service’s latest rate hike on first-class postage stamps — this time of 1 cent — went into effect.

This increase, albeit minimal, comes at a time when fewer people are using the U.S. Postal Service. The rate increase is expected to be worth nearly a billion dollars for the USPS, which lost more than $5 billion last year.

But will the move save the troubled U.S. Postal Service?

Look at the example of Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies, a global non-profit that expects to reduce its mailing costs by as much as $144,00 this year alone.

Tom Moeller, of ACSESS, is the kind of guy who knows how to pack boxes and mail letters whenever they need to go. Although lately, it seems when he steps into his mailroom, there’s less and less to actually mail.

“Years and years ago, I used to send out a truckload a day,” said Moeller. “Everything was on paper years ago, to and back. And now, it’s gone basically.”

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, the ACSESS connects many of the globe’s great minds. Although starting soon, that connection, even for scholarly journals, will be wholly online.

“That’s just the way things are going, all electronic and digital nowadays,” said Moeller.

That means that only the occasional box or letter that needs to be mailed will cost the group the amount of Sunday’s rate hike.

In addition to the price of a stamp going up 1 cent, now sending a postcard will cost people 3 cents more. Letters to Canada and Mexico will be five more cents, with other international mail going up 7 cents. While the package rate is going up about 2 percent across the board.

Choosing to pay bills and correspond with friends and family on-line, the younger generation hasn’t just made the Internet a mailing alternative, but also a way to check out the USPS’ competition. Those people may have come to the Post Office by default in the pre-Internet days.

Now, postal customers like Chris Gunter shop around before mailing.

“We usually check out what’s going to be better for us, FedEx, UPS, and postal, depending on the weight and stuff and what we’re trying to get there,” said Gunter.

So whether you remember how much the price of stamps have risen since 30 years ago, about 25 cents, which represents a more than 100 percent increase, one thing is clear: Don’t count on the 45-cent rate to be around forever.

A good reason to buy the USPS’ rate-controlled “forever” stamps. That is, if you actually need stamps.

{Channel 3000/ Newscenter}



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