United States Postal Service customers may have to temporarily dole out more money this holiday season to send mail and ship packages.
A planned hike, which is similar to adjustments made by the agency in previous years, has been approved by the Governors of the Postal Service and would impact the price of commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels sent through Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International products will be unaffected.
If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the temporary rates would go into effect at 12 a.m. CT on Oct. 2 and remain in place until 12 a.m. CT on Jan. 22, 2023.
For Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, price increases will range between 75 cents and $6.50 for commercial mail and 95 cents and $6.45 for retail mail.
For First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground, price increases will range between 25 cents and $5.50 for commercial mail and 30 cents and $5.85 for retail mail.
"The Postal Service has some of the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping," USPS said in a statement. "These temporary rates will keep USPS competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume."
The latest move, which is part of the agency's 10-year Delivering for America plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, comes after USPS upped the price of First-Class mail by 6.5% in July.
The Postal Service notes that it generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that consumer prices rose 8.5% year over year in July, cooling slightly but still near the highest level in 40 years.