Citing “inflationary pressures”, the U.S. Postal Service is increasing rates again on Sunday, with the price of first class “forever” stamps rising about 3 percent from 66 cents to 68 cents. The price for a first class forever stamp when Joe Biden took office in 2021 was 55 cents. At 68 cents, that makes about a 24 percent increase thanks to Bidenomics (23.6 percent).
2024 forever flag stamps, image via USPS.
The Postal Service announced the increase, along with other rate increases, last October (excerpt):
“As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan. The prices of the Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.”
Last week the Postal Service released the latest report on mail delivery:
The United States Postal Service reported new delivery performance metrics for the first week of the second quarter for fiscal year 2024. The average time for the Postal Service to deliver a mailpiece or package across the nation was 2.8 days.
FY24 second quarter service performance scores covering January 1 through January 5, included:
First-Class Mail: 87.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the fiscal first quarter.
Marketing Mail: 93.4 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter.
Periodicals: 82.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal first quarter.
During our peak season, USPS experienced a significant growth in package volume throughout the nation, and effectively managed the expected increased volume along with the unexpected network disruptions outside our control as demonstrated by our continuing ability to deliver mail and packages to 98 percent of the nation’s population in less than three days. In fact, approximately 45 percent of mail and packages are delivered a day in advance of the specified service standard, and approximately 97 percent of all mail and packages are delivered within a day of its specified service standard, which evidences our ability to rapidly adjust to all conditions. The very small percentage of mail that is not delivered within this time frame is often the result of broader staffing and hiring issues within the local economies that we are working aggressively to address.
One of the goals of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, is to meet or exceed 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products once all elements of the plan are implemented. Service performance is defined by the Postal Service as the time it takes to deliver a mailpiece or package from its acceptance into our system through its delivery, as measured against published service standards.
With the implementation of the Delivering for America plan, the Postal Service continues its focus on improving service reliability for the American public and business customers by modernizing the outmoded and aging postal network across the nation.
The Postal Service is still led by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy who was appointed in 2020 by the USPS Board of Governors. DeJoy, a Republican donor to then President Trump, was attacked by the left during the 2020 election season over fears he might rig mail-in ballots for Trump (or was it actually fear DeJoy would interfere in the Democrats’ scheme to rig mail-in voting). That criticism has largely faded as DeJoy is working with the Biden administration on bringing 66,000 electric vehicles to the Postal Service fleet by 2028, Politico reported last August.
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