The U.S. Postal Service said Friday that it has filed a case with the Postal Rate Commission, seeking a three-year experimental classification for Priority Mail presort discounts.
The filing includes discounts for three presorting options: area distribution centers, which are mail processing facilities that represent a state or a large portion of a state; three-digit prefixes; and five-digit ZIP code sorts.
“We are seeking to make Priority Mail more affordable and offer our customers more options and greater value,” said John F. Kelly, president, expedited/package services at the USPS.
Indeed, in January, the USPS allowed under protest a high rate increase for Priority Mail. While the recommended average increase was 4.6 percent, the Priority Mail category saw increases of 16 percent.
In addition, the USPS reported weak volume and revenue for Priority Mail for the fiscal first quarter, from Sept. 9 to Dec. 1. For the quarter, year-over-year volumes were down 3.6 percent and revenues were down 2.6 percent.
To receive the presort discounts, mailers must meet certain packaging, preparation and minimum quantity requirements. The packaging and preparation requirements vary by mailer location.
During the experiment, the USPS will determine whether incentives provided by the discount structure are beneficial to the mailing community.