While we all would like to complain (including the folks at Postal Totes) about rising shipping costs, the 2023 increase in the US Postal Service (USPS) rates is actually a three-cent decrease from its 1885 rate when adjusted for inflation. A first-class letter cost $0.02 in 1885, which is the equivalent of $0.63 in today’s dollars. The increase scheduled for January 22, 2023, will bring the cost for a metered letter to $0.60. That’s a three-cent decrease over its 1885 rate.

Not only is the rate lower than it was in 1885, but letters arrive in one to three days, according to USPS. In 1885, a letter took an average of eight days to travel from Missouri to California. Granted, these facts don’t help when trying to control 2023 shipping costs, but who knows when a little Postal Service trivia will be useful?

New 2023 Parcel Shipping Rates

Before the following changes can go into effect, they must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC):

  • Small Flat Rate Box:  $10.20, a decrease from the 2022 rate of $10.40.
  • Medium Flat Rate Box:  $17.10, a five-cent increase.
  • Large Flat Rate Box: $22.80, up from its $22.45 rate.
  • APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box: $21.20, a $0.25 increase.

Flat rate envelope costs would decrease under the proposed changes:

  • Regular Flat Rate Envelope: $9.65 from $9.90
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: 10.40 from $10.60
  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope: $9.95 from $10.20

The price changes have been approved by the Postal Service’s Board of Governors and will go into effect once the PRC approves.

Mailing May

John and Sarah Pierstorff from Grangeville, Idaho, mailed their five-year-old daughter to her Grandmother in Lewiston, Idaho, for $0.53. May, who was classified as a chicken, was shipped as live freight. She traveled 75 miles in the train’s mail compartment. Her cousin, who worked for the railroad, was aboard the train with May.

Mailing children was prohibited after 1914 (unsubstantiated reports after 1914 have appeared online). May’s experience was documented in the book Mailing May.

New 2023 Letter Mailing Rate

Postage for letters and postcards will also increase on January 22nd.  These changes include the following:

  • Letter: Stamps will go from $0.60 to $0.63
  • Metered Letter: Rates will increase from $0.57 to $0.60
  • Postcard: Stamps will go from $0.44 to $0.48
  • International Postcard: Rates will increase from $0.05 to $1.45
  • International Letter: Rates will increase from $0.05 to $1.45

Unifying America

The Founding Fathers wanted a way to communicate with citizens all across the country as a way to build national cohesiveness. The Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first postmaster general in 1775. While creating the Postal Service, Franklin also used the service to promote his writing and publishing endeavors. 

Early mailings were primarily newspapers, informing the populace of governmental actions. The condition of the papers was not guaranteed. They were stuffed into mailbags rather than convenient postal totes.

Transporting Mail

Mail delivery continues to pose challenges for USPS. Recent changes to the post office infrastructure have altered operations. Several states will see their mail processing facilities consolidated. Instead of postal delivery personnel picking up their mail at a local post office, they will travel to a central location to pick up the mail and packages for their route.

While the centralized process reduces the cost of buying and maintaining mail trucks, it may increase mail delivery times in the following states:

  • Georgia
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • West Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • Washington
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • North Carolina

While consumers and customers can continue to drop mail off at their local post office, the mail will be placed in bins and shipped to centralized locations for processing.

First Post Offices

The USPS’ first postal stations (Post Offices) were located along the Ohio River in present-day Ohio. Cincinnati and Marietta had the first appointed postmasters in place in June 1794, followed by Gallipolis in late July. Postal stations officially became part of the USPS when a postmaster was appointed.

Postal Totes And Preparing for 2023

As organizations plan for 2023, they must factor postal rate changes into their budgets and adjust delivery times in states impacted by consolidation. That means sorting mail by zip code before dropping it at a post office. Companies may need to separate packages into postal bins according to destination to minimize delivery delays.

Postal Totes Have A Long History Of Sustainability 

Nesting postal totes can help prepare mail rooms for 2023 changes. They provide convenient containers for separating mailings and packages while collapsing for easy storage when not in use. Our postal totes come in various colors and sizes.  Why not browse our selection, so you can ensure you’re prepared for 2023?