The U.S. Postal Service is proposing a number of rate changes that would be effective on Jan. 27 including an average 9.3% increase in its Parcel Select service for packages weighing more than 1 lb., and an average of 9.9% for those same deliveries injected into local post offices, as it looks to recover rising costs and deals with stiff competition from major carriers.

Prices for Parcel Select Lightweight, i.e. those weighing less than 1 lb., will increase by 12.3%.

The USPS is also proposing an increase in the cost of a First-Class stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents. Overall, Priority Mail Express would go up 3.9% and Priority Mail would bump up 5.9%.

The changes will hit mid-size and smaller ecommerce shippers particularly hard. They were submitted by the USPS Board of Governors to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for review and approval. Parcel Select is the last-mile service the USPS provides for UPS, FedEx, Amazon and others.

Also, the USPS is expanding its dimensional weight pricing (DIM) categories to include Priority Mail and Parcel Select parcels over 1 cubic foot, using a divisor of 166 to calculate the charge. For Priority Mail Express, which had a DIM divisor of 194, it will be lowered to 166. A lower divisor number means a higher DIM charge for shippers.

“The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue,’ the USPS said in a press release. “The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping.”

Despite rumblings that the size of the rate changes is in reaction to criticism from President Donald Trump – who has vocally called for privatization and criticized USPS’ work…