First we’ll share the announcement from the US Postal Service about the newly released 2011 Postage Rates then we’ll give you our take below.
Announcement from the US Postal Service:
January 14, 2011
Announcing the continuation of POSTNET barcodes for automation rates beyond May 2011, the continued use of those barcodes for CONFIRM subscribers, and new pricing set to take effect April 17, 2011.
• The new price sheet for CONFIRM can be found online at www.usps.com/prices.
• POSTNET usage has been extended for automation rates beyond May 2011.
• CONFIRM subscribers using PLANET barcodes will also be allowed to continue using the PLANET barcodes beyond May 2011.
• CONFIRM subscribers who have already transitioned to the IMb are encouraged to continue using the IMb. Please do not reactivate a PLANET Code subscriber ID in your system if you have already discontinued its use.
USPS-National Customer Support Center
Here is our compiled list of common new postage rates for 2011
As we dig through the new rates there is a lot you can tell by where they raise the rates the most as well as hidden rate reductions. Over the years we have been able to design services based on where we see the direction of increases going.
This year we see the biggest changes in the smaller postcards (4.25×6″ max).
We also see a small reduction in non-profit automation:
There has been a lot of pressure on the post office to increase rates and still balance the public relations nightmare of hurting all the small non-profits that count on direct mail to raise funds. In this rate-case we see a decrease in the automation rates charged to non-profit groups. This is likely to help push them into automation and away from stamps, labels, tape and staples.
The rest of this rate-case is pretty small really. One of the smallest I have seen in a long time. This is probably due to the fact that we are now getting increases annually instead of every 4 years like in decades past.
Notice also how the largest increases are in the smaller postcards in 1st-class non-automation and single piece rates. This would tend to indicate that this is either a category that is more labor intensive, or there are so few that nobody will notice; which is highly possible. I know from experience that these cards rarely have enough room to do a proper address and the full rate ones are those handwritten ones you get at every tourist attraction in the world.
Those postcards are impossible to automate with that old-fashion vertical-line style design in the middle of the address side of the card. They need one of our new postal automated designs from one of our USPS Mailpiece quality certified designers here at CSG Direct.