USPS to hike stamp prices by record amount

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Postal Service is getting ready to charge Americans more to send their mail.

On Sunday, the price of a “Forever” stamp is set to rise by 5 cents to 55 cents, a 10 percent increase and record nominal price adjustment. The agency announced it received approval for the hike in November.

But it’s not just stamps that are about to get more expensive.

The price to ship a small flat-rate box will increase to $7.90, from $7.20, while a large flat-rate box will rise by more than $1 to $19.95.

Priority Mail Express prices will rise by 3.9 percent, while Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent – those prices aren’t adjusted in line with inflation, but rather with perceived market conditions. First-class mail prices will rise by 10 percent.

The hikes come as the Postal Service recorded a net loss of $3.9 billion during fiscal 2018, which is an increase of more than $1 billion over the losses it suffered in 2017. Overall volume declined by 3.2 billion pieces, which includes a 3.6 percent decline in first-class mail volume – its main source of revenue.

The Postal Service was unable to pay the $6.9 billion it owed the federal government to prefund pensions and health benefits for workers, as has been the case for several years. It has more than $120 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities.

The last time the agency recorded a profit was more than a decade ago. The White House said the service has lost $65 billion since the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has put pressure on the mail service to address its financial woes. President Trump has personally lashed out at the courier on a number of occasions, specifically over a shipping deal it cut with e-commerce giant Amazon. The Postal Service also faces mounting competition from companies, like Amazon, developing their own delivery services, as well as from FedEx and UPS.

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