David Goldman/AP file photo

USPS Looking to Increase Shipping Costs 9.5 Percent in 2016

Price bump needs approval from Postal Service regulator.

The U.S. Postal Service is seeking to dramatically increase prices for shipping services, which would mark the first such raise since 2013.

The price bump would be delayed until after the holiday season, USPS said on Friday, going into effect Jan. 17. The Postal Regulatory Commission must approve the increase. It would not apply to regular, first-class mail.

The average shipping cost would jump 9.5 percent under the plan, or about $5.50 per shipment. Priority mail, the flat-rate shipping of any package weighing less than 70 pounds with three days, would increase by an average of 9.8 percent. The prices will range from $6.80 to $18.75, depending on the size of the box.

Priority mail express, which guarantees overnight delivery, seven days per week, would increase 15.6 percent. Several international and business-focused offerings will also undergo changes. A full list of the proposed price increases can be found here.

The USPS board of governors approved the price hike request, though just three of the nine governors positions are currently filled. The postal rate announcement comes just one day after UPS announced a 5 percent price increase, effective after Christmas. 

A PRC spokeswoman said the commission "is reviewing the Postal Service’s request for a change in rates to competitive products and expects to issue a decision no later than Nov. 16, 2015."

NEXT STORY: VA Benefits Official Resigns