Postal Rates Climb: But Delivery Is Dragging

Newspaper publishers, including the mighty Gannett, have turned to the U.S. Postal Service to deliver their newspapers. 

It may be a mistake. Automated flats (meaning that you are doing part of the work for the USPS) are getting a 23% hike, while non-automated pieces are going up by 19.01%. 

Of course, the prices are lower for automated flats: the new basic rate is $0.492, versus $0.574 for non-automated – not that bad. 

In general, the “proposed adjustments, approved by the governors of the Postal Service, would raise mailing services product prices approximately 7.8%. Due to the underwater surcharge, the average rate increase for Outside County is 9.758% and 9.701% for In-County,” writes Holly Lubart of the News Media Alliance. The Postal Rate Commission still has to give its approval. 

But there’s another problem: the USPS itself. Sunday editions now arrive on Saturday – if you’re lucky. And that’s the least of it, according to Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama).  



“As bulk mail rates keep increasing, so do the delivery times, Aderholt writes in The Moulton Advertiser. “Therefore, newspapers are not getting to homes and businesses in a timely manner. How do I know this? Well, I’ve heard from the editors of local papers who have told me about the delays in delivery. I’ve also witnessed it in my own district offices."

He continues, “Here is a recent example: the Feb. 21 edition of The Blount Countian newspaper was delivered to my Cullman office on March 19. That’s just two days short of a month. This has happened with the other papers my office subscribes to as well. They arrive weeks after they were published and delivered to USPS."

Aderholt concludes, “The local postal carriers are fine people who are dedicated to their jobs. The issue lies in the overall distribution system. When rates are increasing at a steady pace, but service is going down at the same time, something is wrong.”

These anecdotes do not quite spell a disaster. But publishers should consider them when deciding if the USPS should deliver their papers, especially in this election year. At any rate, they'll need a postal expert on staff. 




1 comment about "Postal Rates Climb: But Delivery Is Dragging".
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  1. John Antil from University of Delaware, April 12, 2024 at 6:11 p.m.

    The delivery times of all mail seem to have become a major problem. I know that letters that are to be signed by me have been left in mail box and no delivery attempt been made. I was told by postal employee that the only ones that will ever get signed and therefore there on time are those that have the mail deleivered to your door. If you have a mailbox at the street, they will not go to your door....just not done the right way and everyone knows it but makes no difference. Also found out that routes are designed to take 8 hours but if the postman gets his assigned route done sooner, you just go home with full pay...apparently the averate time at work is more like 6 hours and getting paid for 8 hours......but they also say that it is very, very hard to hire anyone since "no one wants to work". I agree witht that statement for sure. Just try to hire a teenager to help around the house.....none available!  I think most all of them are in thier basements playing video games.

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