Mail industry software provider GrayHair Software Inc., announced a U.S. Postal Service rate comparison service called the GrayHair R-2006 Calculator.
In general, the service allows mailers to proactively understand the implications of the proposed USPS R-2006 rates on their bottom line and future.
The USPS filed for an average 8.5 percent rate increase May 3 with the Postal Rate Commission. Among the proposed rates: Standard Mail would rise 9 percent; Periodicals, 11.4 percent; Priority Mail, 13.8 percent; Express Mail, 12.5 percent; and package services, 13.4 percent. First Class would climb 7.1 percent to 42 cents. For business mailers, it generally means postage increases of 7 to 18 percent, based on averages for various mail classes. The rates could go into effect next summer.
Mount Laurel, NJ-based GrayHair said the product reads mail.dat files and computes postage at the current rates. It then applies complex algorithms to approximate the R-2006 proposed framework rules and re-computes postage based on the proposed R-2006 rates Mail.dat is a relational database of 19 “connected” files describing each characteristic that can exist within a mailing.
The results are output in both detailed and/or summary formats and available via e-mail, text or spreadsheet formats.
Mailers are very concerned about how the rates will affect their mailings.
The Association of Postal Commerce, for example, has said on its Web site (ww.psotcom.org) that since the USPS has proposed significant changes in the structure of Standard Mail Rates in the current case, when looking at the class averages, they do not really tell mailers how they will affect their business. As a result, the association has urged mailers to take some live mailings and bump them up against the proposed rates.
The following R-2006 rates are currently supported with the GrayHair R2006 Calculator: First-Class (excluding Priority and Express), Standard Mail Letters, Flats, Non-Flat Machinables and incidental parcels (both Regular and Non-Profit).
Pricing varies upon the number of mail.dat files analyzed.