Postal Rates and Regulations

Magazine publishers send more than 3 billion magazines a year to consumers through the U.S. Postal Service, around 90% of all magazine circulation in the U.S. MPA seeks to maintain an affordable and reliable postal system that can effectively provide universal service throughout the U.S. for the foreseeable future. Federal law mandates that the US Postal Service enjoys monopoly access to the mailbox - meaning mailers and private sector delivery services (which might offer competitive pricing) cannot deliver products directly to customer mailboxes. Mailers therefore have limited alternative delivery options outside of the Postal Service and remain captive to USPS pricing.

Through the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Congress included an inflation cap on postal rate increases. The law also outlines nine objectives for the postal rate regulation system, including creating predictability and stability in rates, establishing and maintain a just and reasonable schedule for rates and classifications, and maximizing incentives for the USPS to reduce costs and increases efficiency while maintaining high quality service standards. MPA believes above-inflation increases will dramatically reduce postal volumes and hurt the viability of USPS. Further, MPA is extremely concerned about dramatic cost increases and falling productivity for periodicals and other flat-shaped mail, and believes that the Postal Service must improve flats processing operations immediately and should not be rewarded with higher rates for failing to address “underwater” class problems.

The rate setting system is currently under review by the Postal Service’s regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Commission has proposed allowing the Postal Service to raise prices far beyond inflation. MPA has produced an easy to read magazine to explain the PRC’s proposal and the unintended consequences it would trigger. MPA has submitted multiple comments opposing the proposal. In addition to hurting magazines, newspapers, charities and all their beneficiaries, it would ultimately hurt everyone that uses or cares about the Postal Service, including the Postal Service itself. View the "Magazine Media: Response to the PRC Proposal" magazine here or download the PDF here