Ina Steiner

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

USPS is increasing postal rates on Jan. 17. Priority Mail fees will rise about 9.8 percent, despite USPS touting its allegiance to e-commerce marketers who are infusing USPS with package delivery revenue as First Class mail volume plummets.

In late April, around when the U.S. Postal Service may increase postage rates, the organization plans to stop supporting the "Click-N-Ship for Business" app and suggests mailers switch to a USPS "meter label solution" or smaller mailers use the Click-N-Ship app, writes Ina Steiner of on Thursday. "[USPS says] those who switch from Click-N-Ship for Business without meter to regular Click-N-Ship will receive Commercial Base pricing, which is cheaper than retail rates," Steiner writes.

In 30 years, "there will be no paper" a "futurist" told the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors a couple years ago, Board Chairman Mickey D. Barnett told the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. During Barnett's statement on Wednesday to the body considering his nomination to serve another term, he adds USPS needs to shift away from its most profitable product, First Class mail, to what's fast becoming its most profitable service, package delivery. While he didn't claim the futurist's predictions were correct, Barnett says the USPS needs to be ready for a future with no mail.

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe hosted a Web conference call on Wednesday with reporters to discuss recent changes to Priority Mail and its new business strategy to drive USPS growth in the shipping marketplace. In response to a post-briefing question, the Postal Service told EcommerceBytes that its future plans include moving to a guaranteed service for Priority Mail day-specific delivery. On July 28, the USPS rebranded Express Mail to "Priority Mail Express," and added an estimated delivery time designation on shipping labels and in the USPS Tracking information

Online merchants who rely on Priority Mail to send packages got some good news—beginning on July 28, domestic Priority Mail will include, without additional charge, either $50 or $100 insurance for loss, damage and missing merchandise. But shippers had trouble determining under which situation they would receive $50 in free insurance, and in which situation they would receive $100 in free insurance. Spokesperson Darleen Reid-DeMeo addressed the question for EcommerceBytes on Monday.

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