USPS to raise PO box rates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some locals who pay for a post office box will soon pay more for the service, according to USPS officials.

Residents who utilize the P.O. box system at the Andalusia Post Office will join consumers in 1,625 other areas nationwide and 37 in Alabama, who will pay more beginning next month.

USPS officials say the change is part of the organization’s move from market dominant fee groups to competitive fee groups in areas where they do not have a large share in the market.

Locals can expect an average increase of 20 percent per box.

According to information provided by the USPS, local customers will be in the competitive fee group 34, which will place box prices ranging from $31 to $260, depending on size, for six months.

That’s an increase from prices ranging from $29 to $241.

Sizes can range from 3 inches by 5.5 inches to 22.5 inches by 12 inches.

Still, there are a few perks for the higher cost.

Post Office boxes will also now include electronic notification of receipt of mail, already on file signatures for delivery of certain mail and additional hours of access.
Increases are set to go into effect on Aug. 27.

USPS lost an estimated $5 billion last year, which is the seventh consecutive year the organization has operated at a net loss.

This is just the latest in a series of practices implemented by USPS in order to save money.

In 2011, it announced plans to analyze some 3,700 rural post offices that were deemed underused for possible closure.

Additionally, the USPS has considered halting Saturday delivery, but has since scrapped that plan.