USPS wants to be the backbone of the e-commerce economy. That means it will soon cost more to send mail

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In about a week, the price to send mail through the United States Postal Service is going up again. And the leader of the agency said rates will continue to rise at an uncomfortable rate.

Recently, the Postmaster General said he wants to transform the aging agency into the backbone of the e-commerce economy. This means, starting July 9, it’s going to cost you more to send your letter or package.

News4JAX spoke to Al Friedman, the president of the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers about the increase. He said there are many factors at play, including the fluctuating gas prices you’ve experienced yourself.

“Every time gas goes up a penny, it costs us a million dollars,” Friedman said.

USPS has a fleet of more than 300,000 vehicles, so one cent more for gas at the pump adds up fast.

Here are just some of the changes you can expect as part of a 5.4% overall increase in USPS rates:

  • Stamps will increase from $0.63 to $0.66.
  • Sending a postcard will increase from $0.48 to $0.51.
  • Mailing a flat, large, envelope will increase from $1.26 to $1.35.

First Class Mail, International Mail, and package delivery costs are increasing as well. Friedman suggests consumers and businesses buy now while the prices are lower to offset future inflation.

“These stamps now are called Forever Stamps. So, they’re forever at the price you bought them. So if you wanted to go out before the rate increases and buy $100 worth of stamps, you’re going to get them for $0.63 as long as you can you use them. My suggestion is buy as many as you can,” he said.

Friedman also points to the demand for parcel service. He says it’s up 50% since last year with more Americans than ever wanting everyday items delivered directly to their homes. He also says airlines aren’t flying to as many locations as they have in the past which puts more demand on drivers as well as USPS workers who deliver mail daily by boat.

“If you look at Southwest or look at United, or Delta, or any other big airline, they don’t have as many flights going through certain cities,” Friedman explained. “We might be able to get it to Atlanta, but how many flights go into Macon, Georgia? So, when we have to now transport from Atlanta to Macon or Savannah, or one of the other little towns in Georgia, or any other state, the cost factor is in there.”

Friedman also points out that it is free to forward your mail, or hold it, or change your address while in other countries like Canada charge a fee for that service. He says the Postal Service is looking at a 10-year plan to stabilize the government agency without using taxpayer money. So instead, the price increase is in the product.

About the Authors:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.