Postal Service Wants Rate Increase, To Be Lower Than Expected for Periodicals
Thursday, September 20, 2001
According to the ABM, On Tuesday, September 11, the Postal Service Board of Governors announced that the Postal Service's financial condition required that it seek a rate increase as soon as possible. The Postal Service will seek an average Periodicals increase of 10 percent. We have been unable to learn how wide the spread will be around that 10 percent average and will have to await the actual filing to calculate the impact on member publications. We do know the Postal Service will seek a modest rate differential between sacked and palletized pieces, perhaps amounting to one cent per piece. Once we and the members have had a chance to study the rate request, we will be in a position to begin considering whether a continuation of the publishers' coalition, including MPA, Dow Jones, Time Warner, the Coalition of Religious Press Associations and the National Newspaper Association along with American Business Media, will be possible. The coalition has worked together very effectively in the two most recent cases, but it is possible that irreconcilable differences on rate design changes could preclude an encore. After the case is officially filed, the Postal Rate Commission will permit written discovery, take written testimony of more than one hundred witnesses, hold a series of evidentiary hearings and likely issue its Recommended Decision at the end of July 2002. The Governors of the Postal Service will review that recommendation and their options under the law, and will determine a rate implementation date. We can expect the rate increase to become effective in September or, perhaps, October 2002.