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Rate Change

USPS Rate Change

FAQ

Q: Why should I update my postal rates?
A: If you rely on a Neopost scale or mailing machine to weigh and rate your mail, you must update the rate software so that the equipment will automatically calculate and meter the correct postage when the Post Office changes its rates and prices. Your Neopost mailing equipment works best, saves you money, and keeps you compliant with USPS regulations when rate tables are kept up-to-date. Correct, accurate rating eliminates the needless overpayment of postage and the return of mail with short-paid postage.

Q: What is a rate update?
A: A rate update is an update to the rate table software in your mailing equipment. The rate table in your mailing equipment stores the correct postage and fee for every combination of postal product, Extra Service, weight, and ZIP Code Zone supported by your equipment.  Your mailing equipment references the updated rate table in order to calculate the correct postage and fees.

Q: How is the rate table software in my mailing equipment updated?
A: All IS-, IN-and IM-series mailing machines must connect to our Online Server to electronically download rate updates. Rates may be downloaded into the mailing machine in advance of the effective rate change date because the mailing machine can store both a current and future rate table.

Online-Connected Mailing Machines

Neopost

Hasler

IS-280
IS-330
IS-350
IS-420
IS-430
IS-440
IS-440PLUS
IS-460
IS-480
IS-490
IS-5000
IS-5500
IS-6000
IN-360
IN-600
IN-700
IN-750
IM280
IM330
IM350
IM420
IM430
IM440
IM440PLUS
IM460
IM480
IM490
IM5000
IM5500
IM6000
IN360
IN600
IN700
IN750

Some IJ- and WJ-series mailing machines are also capable of connecting to our Online Server to electronically download rate updates in addition to accepting smartcard rate updates. Rates may be downloaded into the mailing machine in advance of the effective rate change date because the mailing machine memory can store both a current and future rate table.

Online-Connected IJ and WJ Mailing Machines

Neopost

Hasler

IJ-70
IJ-80
IJ-90
IJ-110
WJ150
WJ185
WJ220
WJ250

Most IJ- and WJ-series mailing machines require insertion of a smartcard in the mailing machine base to load the new rate table software. Weighing platforms that connect to mailing machine bases do not require separate rate updates. Smartcard updates to the mailing machine may be performed prior to the effective rate change date because the mailing machine memory can store both a current and future rate table.


IJ and WJ Mailing Machine
Neopost Hasler
IJ-35
IJ-40
IJ-45
IJ-50
IJ-60
IJ-65
IJ-75
IJ-85
IJ-70
IJ-80
IJ-90
IJ-110
WJ60
WJ65
WJ90
WJ95
WJ110
WJ135
WJ185
WJ215
WJ150
WJ185
WJ220
WJ250

Freestanding scales require installation of a ratepak rate chip in order to rate a mailpiece.  Because freestanding scales only support current rates, a ratepak should not be installed until the new rates take effect.
 
Standalone Scales

Neopost

Hasler

SE-37 5 lb. scale
SE-57 10 lb. scale
SE-67 30 lb. scale
ST-77 70 lb. scale
SM26W 5 lb platform
WJS5 5 lb. scale
WJS10 10 lb. scale
WJS20 20 lb. scale
WJS70 70 lb. scale

Q: When did the most recent USPS Rate Change take effect?

A: Price changes went into effect on Sunday, January 26, 2014.  The changes impacted both Mailing ('Market-Dominant') and Shipping ('Competitive') Services.

Q: Which Postal Service prices changed on January 26, 2014?
A: The Postal Service changed prices for all of its Mailing and Shipping Services on Sunday, January 26, 2014. The overall 6% rise in prices for Market-Dominant Mailing Services is comprised of a 1.7% annual CPI-inflation increase and an additional 4.3% "exigent" price increase.  Prices for Shipping Services increased by an overall average of 2.4%. Individual price changes within a mail class may be higher or lower than the overall average.

Price changes affected the full range of Postal products:

Mailing Products Shipping Products
First-Class Mail Letters, Postcards, Flats and Parcels Priority Mail
First-Class Mail Presort Letters Priority Mail International
First-Class International Mail Priority Mail Express
Standard Mail Global Express Guaranteed
Package Services Express Mail International
Extra Services Parcel Select

Q: Does a single rate update include the price changes for both Mailing Services and Shipping Services that went into effect on January 26, 2014?

A: Yes. All January 2014 rate updates include both the Mailing and Shipping Services rates that take effect on January 26, 2014. They will also include Zip Code and Postal Zone changes.

Q: What is the best source for comprehensive information about the USPS price changes?
A: Customers may log in to the USPS postal explorer web site at http://pe.usps.com.  Publication 123 – DMM Notice 123 – is considered the definitive reference guide to Postal Service rates. 

Q: Why were the January 2014 price increases for Mailing Services significantly greater than the January 2013 price increases?
A: Under the terms of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), which regulates the process by which the Postal Service can raise prices to keep pace with its rising costs, regular increases are permitted so long as they do not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI).  The overall annual CPI-inflation increase in January 2013 was 2.6%. 

By contrast, the overall 6% January 2014 price increase combines a 1.7% regular inflation-adjustment price increase with an additional "exigent" 4.3% price increase.  PAEA allows for an exigent rate filing beyond the regular annual CPI increase if the Postal Service has been affected by extraordinary or exceptional circumstances. In its filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the USPS claimed that the effects of the Great Recession – primarily a 20% drop in postal volume since 2008 – constituted a qualifying exceptional circumstance. The PRC agreed and approved the additional price increases for January 2014 but rejected, in a 2-1 vote, the Postal Service request to make the increased prices permanent.  The PRC directed the Postal Service to come back with plans to roll back the temporary exigent increases in less than two years.

Q: What do I need to know about the new Postage Meter discount that the Postal Service introduced on January 26, 2014?
A: The price to mail a single-piece one-ounce business letter increased from 46¢ to a discounted rate of 48¢ for our mailing machine customers.  First-Class letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces qualify for the new 1¢ discount (USPS retail counter and CPU customers will pay 49¢).  Your mailing machine will automatically apply the 1¢ discount.  The Postal Service introduced the special one-cent discount for metered single-piece First-Class Mail letters in recognition that postage meters are an efficient way to manage the flow of mail and help the Postal Service control its costs.

First-Class Mail Letters Post Office Retail Counter Postage Meter Rate
1 oz $0.49 $0.48
2 oz $0.70 $0.69
3 oz $0.91 $0.90
3.5 oz $1.12 $1.11

Q: Which Neopost and Hasler mailing machines are approved to use discounted Commercial Base Prices for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express?

A: Commercial and Government customers with Neopost IS- and IN-series mailing machines or Hasler IM- and IN-series mailing machines that connect to our Online Server are approved by the Postal Service to extend Commercial Base Pricing discounts for qualifying postal products. Such mailing machines automatically apply the Commercial Base Pricing discount. 

Online-Connected Mailing Machines with
Commercial Base Prices
Neopost Hasler
IS-280
IS-330
IS-350
IS-420
IS-430
IS-440
IS-440PLUS
IS-460
IS-480
IS-490
IS-5000
IS-5500
IS-6000
IN-360
IN-600
IN-700
IN-750
IM280
IM330
IM350
IM420
IM430
IM440
IM440PLUS
IM460
IM480
IM490
IM5000
IM5500
IM6000
IN360
IN600
IN700
IN750

Q: Why doesn't a postage meter used by a Contract Postal Unit (CPU) qualify for the new
postage meter discount for First-Class Mail letters or lower Commercial Base Prices for parcels?
A: Contract Postal Units are not permitted to use the newly introduced 1¢ postage meter discount for First-Class single piece letters or the lower Commercial Base Pricing for packages and Priority Mail. Even though the postage may be processed from a postage meter, CPUs are contractually obligated to charge Post Office retail counter prices. Retail counter customers pay the standard postage for First-Class Mail letters, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.

Q: What is the status of the IMb barcode requirement that had been scheduled to go into effect on January 26, 2014?
A: The Post Office had intended to roll out additional automation discounts on January 26, 2014 for mailers who complied with next-generation Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) standards for sorting and tracking of mail. In its review of the annual CPI-based postage adjustments that go into effect on January 26, 2014, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) ruled that the IMb discounts caused the price increase to exceed the inflation-based cap. Approval of the annual CPI-based postage increase was conditional upon the Postal Service abandoning its plan to implement full-service IMb requirements on the same date. The Postal Service subsequently confirmed that it would defer the IMb requirement until 2015.

Q: What do I need to know about the IMpb barcode requirement that went into effect on January 26, 2014?
A: In addition to changing prices for both Mailing Services and Shipping Services on Sunday, January 26, 2014, the Postal Service also introduced and made mandatory a new requirement to affix tracking barcodes to all commercial parcels. The impact of the new commercial parcel requirement goes beyond packages and parcels.  It also applies to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express flat-rate envelopes.  Parcels that do not display an approved barcode risk return and/or delivery delays, as well as increased postage rates in some instances. 

To learn more about the Postal Service’s next-generation Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) program, as well as the impact and exact IMpb requirements that are now in effect for your equipment, please refer to the IMpb compliance information.

Q: I am covered by a Rate Change Protection (RCP) contract. What do I do if I did not receive my January 2014 rate update?
A: If you did not receive your January 2014 rate update, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-NEOPOST (636-7678) for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. (Central Time).

Q: My mailing machine is covered by Online Rate Protection. How do I download the new rates into my mailing machine?
A: If you have not yet downloaded your January 2014 rate update, it is now available for download into your IS/IM-Series or online-enabled IJ/WJ-Series mailing machine.  There is no need to schedule a visit by a service technician. Simply connect your mailing machine and download the rates by going to the ONLINE SERVICES menu on your mailing machine and placing a GENERIC CALL to our server. The download will take no more than three minutes if you are downloading the update into a mailing machine that is connecting by modem (and only seconds if connecting by LAN). After download, the mailing machine will automatically switch over to the new rates.

Q: What is Rate Change Protection (RCP)?
A: An annual Rate Change Protection (RCP) contract covers the cost of purchasing an individual update each time the Postal Service implements a price increase. The cost of the annual contract is substantially lower than the cost of buying updates for your equipment separately and coverage ensures automatic shipment and on-time delivery of the new rates.

Q: I am having difficulty installing or downloading my rate update.
A: Your update will be accompanied by installation instructions. You may obtain more detailed instructions for updating the rates in your equipment by clicking here. Each of our Rate Change telephone agents are trained to assist and you may also contact a Service and Repair team technician for live assistance by selecting the Repair menu prompt at 1-800-NEOPOST (636-7678). Repair representatives are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. (Central Time). Please note that you will need to have your customer account number available in order to expedite contact with our Repair telephone-support team.

Q: To what address should I return my out-of-date rate update?
A: You can do your part for the environment. Please recycle your rate updates wherever possible. A pre-paid, self-addressed envelope is included with your shipped update. If your return envelope is missing, please send your obsolete rate update to:
Neopost USA Inc. Rate Return
P.O. Box 1183
4650 Hickory Hill Rd.
Memphis , TN 38141-6815

Q: I need to send a Purchase Order for my update. What do I do?
A: If our records indicate your company needs to issue a purchase order before accepting products or services, you will automatically receive a letter from us. The letter will ask you to mail us your purchase order so that we can process and ship your order for a rate update. If you fail to receive your letter, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-NEOPOST (636-7678). Representatives are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. (Central Time).

Q: How do I qualify for Pre-sort rates?
A: Qualifying minimums and participation requirements are listed in the Quick Service Guide 230d section of the USPS postal explorer web site at http://pe.usps.com/. This section provides information that mailers will help mailers understand whether their volume of commercial letters and postcards qualify for First-Class Mail automation discounts.

Q: What is Shape-Based Pricing?
A: The Postal Service introduced a shape-based classification system for First-Class Mail and packages in 2007 to align prices with its costs of processing mail, particularly mail and packages that require manual sorting and handling. Postage is determined by whether the mail piece conforms to shape and content guidelines in addition to weight. Cards, letters, flats and packages that fail to conform to the minimum or maximum dimensional classifications are subject to increased rates and additional surcharges.

Postcards Letters Large Flat Envelopes
Min length 5" 5" 11 1/2"
Max length 6" 11 1/2" 15"
Min height 3 1/2" 3 1/2" 6 1/8"
Max height 4 1/4" 6 1/8" 12"
Min thickness 0.007" 0.007" 0.007"
Max thickness 0.016" 1/4" 3/4"
Max weight 3.5 ounces 13 ounces
  • A postcard that exceeds any of the dimensions above will be classified as a letter.
  • A letter that exceeds any of the letter dimensions above will be classified and priced as a large envelope (flat).
  • A large, flat envelope that exceeds any of the dimensions above will be classified and priced as a package.
  • First-Class Mail letter-size pieces over 3.5 ounces pay flat-size prices.
  • Any piece that exceeds 13 ounces in weight is classified and priced as Priority Mail.
  • If a letter-sized piece has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5, If the contents of a flat-sized mail piece causes variations in thickness of more than 1/4 inch (e.g. loose items), if a piece is too small or too rigid, or if items have irregular shapes (square envelopes or tubes), a piece may be subject to a non-machinable surcharge or additional postage.

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