PRC Rejects Most of USPS Rate Case Appeal, But Large-Book Mailers Get Burned

Washington–The Postal Rate Commission (PRC) on Feb. 9 dealt a setback to the U.S. Postal Service in rejecting most of the USPS’s demands for higher rates. But the PRC also dealt a blow to mailers of large-size catalogs–such as J.C. Penney and Spiegel–that use the USPS’s bound printed matter service.

The USPS filed its demands as an appeal of the postal rate case that was ruled on in November; the postal rates from that case were implemented on Jan. 8. But after the PRC issued its recommendation in November, the USPS Board of Governors accepted the PRC decision “under protest.” That turned the rate case back to the PRC for further consideration of the revenue increases the USPS had sought but was not granted.

On its reconsideration, the PRC ruled that the existing rates for bound printed matter be increased $0.05-$1.69 a piece, depending on weight and other factors. It also added a $0.03 per piece barcoding discount. The agency hasn’t yet set a date for implementing the increase.