Pitney Bowes report finds most companies unprepared for postal rate hike, new rules

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With only four months to go until the most significant overhaul of postage rates in years, four out of five executives are unprepared for the proposed price and rules changes that are destined to have a large impact on their business operations and marketing strategies.

This information was gleaned from a recent Pitney Bowes Inc. survey of more than 500 business executives nationwide. The survey indicated that 79 percent of respondents are unaware of the forecast changes in postal rates and regulations. Stanford, CT-based Pitney Bowes said that the lack of knowledge about this important business event cuts across all organizational sizes and all regions of the country.

Murray Martin, president and chief operating officer of Pitney Bowes, said the anticipated overhaul of postal rates and rules has serious implications for businesses and that smart companies are already planning ways to reengineer their mailstream to make it less costly and far more effective than it has been in the past.

The proposed overall 8.4 percent rate increase would bring the full cost of first class postage up to 42 cents from the current 39 cents, but that is only the most visible effect of sweeping changes to the 4,400 different postal rates now under consideration by the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission. Other proposed major changes include the introduction of shape-based pricing and, in a related development, new rules for address quality that will take effect as early as this summer.

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