At the start of every New Year it’s always smart to know how postal regulations are going to impact your bottom-line. CMS keeps abreast of all developments within USPS and can help you plan the most effective use of your direct marketing and communications budget.

You’ve probably heard that First-Class Mail and flat-rate pricing changes are affected. And you may have heard news reports on the recently introduced First-Class Mail Global Forever stamp. Additionally, the United States Postal Service will be charging a penny more for a one ounce, first-class stamp for letters anywhere in the United States. This is only the second price change for first-class mail stamps since 2009. Remember that Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of changes.
Also beginning early next year, USPS will offer a First-Class Mail Global Forever Stamp. The new stamp will allow customers to mail letters anywhere in the world for one set price of $1.10. And there’s one other change to international mailing. The addressee’s full legal name, defined as first name, middle initial (if applicable) and last name must be used on all international mail. In addition, the complete address information must appear on the piece.
So what else is changing? Beginning Jan. 27, here are the highlights of the new single-piece First class mail pricing changes.
⦁ Letters (1oz.): 1-cent increase to 46 cents
⦁ Letters additional ounces: unchanged at 20 cents
⦁ Letters to all international destinations (1oz.): $1.10
⦁ Postcards: 1-cent increase to 33 cents
There is new pricing for domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate products. The new prices include the following:
⦁ Small box: $5.80
⦁ Medium box: $12.35
⦁ Large box: $16.85
⦁ Large APO/FPO box: $14.85
⦁ Regular envelope: $5.60
⦁ Legal envelope: $5.75
⦁ Padded envelope: $5.95
New Shipping Services Introduced. USPS also began offering new shipping services as of January. Free tracking will be offered to all competitive packages, including retail Priority Mail and Parcel Post (recently renamed Standard Post). And customers shipping Critical Mail letters and flats will have the option of receiving a signature upon delivery.
What is the Intelligent Mail® barcode? The Intelligent Mail barcode, formerly referred to as the 4-State Customer barcode, is a new Postal Service barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. The Postal Service is promoting use of the Intelligent Mail barcode because it expands the ability to track individual mailpieces and provides customers with greater visibility into the mailstream.
How does it work? The Intelligent Mail barcode combines the data of the existing POSTNET™ and the PLANET Code® barcodes, as well as other data, into a single barcode. The Intelligent Mail barcode is a type of height-modulated barcode, that uses four distinct vertical bar types (Full, Tracker, Ascender and Descender) as shown below.

CMS can make it easier for you. Give us a call for a FREE consultation this month. We’ll help you understand how these new postal regulations will affect your bottom-line. And we’ll assist you in making the transition to the new Intelligent Mail barcode. You can reach the experts by calling CMS at 718-439-1143 and ask for the Postal Regulations Expert.