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Postal Rates and Regulation Set to Change

Posted Dec. 9, 2013

Effective Jan. 26, 2014, two events associated with the U.S. Postal Service will impact postage expenses at Kent State University.

Full Service Requirement – A new regulation states that in order to get any postage discounts, mailing lists must be processed for automation; the address panel must contain an Intelligent Mail Barcode; and the postal paperwork must be submitted electronically. The term Full Service indicates that Mail Services is following those postal guidelines, especially inputting the paperwork electronically. Currently, when Mail Services takes the paperwork with the mailing to the post office, a clerk has to enter the specifics into their computer system, and Full Service eliminates this duplication of effort. This allows the highest possible discounts on postage which are, in order, presorted, automated (CASS Certified, NCOA’d and barcoded) and then Full Service.

Gone are the days of simply printing and affixing labels to mail pieces and having Mail Services sort and submit them for discounted, nonbarcoded, nonautomated rates. Mail Services has completed the transitional processes, software upgrades and tests to become Full-Service compliant, and we are already submitting mailing paperwork electronically, well in advance of the requirements.

The difference in postage is only about a penny per piece, but the cumulative effect for the university is an estimated $15,000 extra expense annually, in addition to the impact of any increase in postal rates.

I encourage you to standardize your mailing list(s) into a useable format, such as comma delimited or Excel, and let Mail Services prepare your mailings for best practices and maximum savings. In addition to saving on postage, this also will result in reduced cost of labels, printer ink and labor for your department.

Increasing Postal Rates – The details of the new postal rates have not been finalized, but we know that the rate for 1st-class mail and the other classes will increase based on the consumer price index. That factor alone is expected to increase postage to $.47 for first-class and at least $.01 per piece for nonprofit mailings.

The Postal Service has also asked for an exigent (additional) postage increase, which would increase the 1st-class postage to $.49 and all other classes by similar amounts. In the past, these exigent postage increases have either been rejected by the Postal Governors Board or dramatically modified, but the USPS is now in dire straits financially and feels that they need this increase to survive.

More information will be distributed as it becomes available, but the increase in postal rates is another reason to take the necessary steps to qualify for the Full-Service discounts Mail Services can obtain with your mailings.

Please contact Steve Finley at sfinley7@kent.edu or Brett Edwards at bedward3@kent.edu or call 330-672-2164 if you have any questions.