Postal Service to Adjust Prices, Extends POSTNET Barcode Use
Outside County — 1.8 percent
Inside County — 1.1 percent
The proposed price changes are expected to generate $340 million for the balance of the fiscal year and $720 million if implemented for a 12-month period.
Regarding POSTNET, “we heard concerns that we were moving too fast on discontinuing POSTNET coding, and we will continue to offer the automation prices for mail with POSTNET barcodes beyond May 2011,” Donahoe said.
Donahoe emphasized the value of the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to mailers and reiterating the Postal Service commitment to implementing the IMb. To date, more than 41 billion pieces of mail have been processed using the IMb.
Recognizing ongoing industry concerns with challenges associated with implementing the IMb, Donahoe announced that mailers can continue to use POSTNET barcodes to qualify for automation discounts. The POSTNET code was to sunset this May to enable broad adoption and use of the IMb. There will be no Full Service Address Change Service (ACS) charges.
In July 2010, the Postal Service filed an exigent price proposal that was rejected by the Postal Regulatory Commission in September. The Postal Service filed an appeal of that decision with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in November and awaits a decision.
Faced with decreased mail volume traced to the recession and increased use of the Internet, the Postal Service continues to face a daunting financial crisis. Increasing prices is one of a series of solutions the Postal Service proposed in March 2010 to address the crisis. Other actions outlined in the March plan included changes to delivery frequency, restructuring prepayments of future retiree health benefits, creating a more flexible workforce and expanding access to products and services to places more convenient to customers. In December, Donahoe began a reorganization of all administrative and managerial functions as part of his vision to operate “leaner, faster and smarter.”