So by now you have heard that as of March 31st, 2014 the cost to mail a single letter in Canada has risen to $1. See our blog here for all the painful details: Canadian Postage Rate Increases March 2014
If $1 stamp sounds kinda Loonie to you (pun intended), I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at where the cost of mailing a letter has progressed over the years.
For this purpose I was curious to see what a letter might have cost when our current Monarch Queen Elizabeth II came to power way back in 1952.
A quick google search showed it was 4 cents!
It also turned up a webpage from the good folks at Canadian Philately. Philately is defined as the collection of stamps and Postal information and its obvious these folks are great enthusiasts and have tracked stamp use in Canada back to confederation.
Here is a chart from their site showing the increases during the Elizabethan era (1952-2014):
As you can see shortly after Queen Elizabeth II came to power the cost to mail a first class letter rose from 4 cents to 5 cents and then there was only a 1 cent increase over the next 15 years to 6 cents in 1968. After that things started to pickup momentum:
1979 - 17 cents
1982 - 30 cents (the highest % increase in cost of mail when the rate nearly doubled as Canada Post became a Crown corporation)
1988 - 2001 the dawn of the nearly annual rate increase begins:
2001 - 47 cents
2009 - 54 cents
2010 - 57 cents
2011 - 59 cents
2012 - 61 cents
2014 - was supposed to rise to 65 cents, increased to 85 cents March 31st*
* Canada Post Action Plan details why this increase is necessary Canada Post 5 Point Action Plan 2014
Reducing the pain!
If you purchase stamps in booklets or coils you can receive them at a reduced rate of 85 cents a letter.
If you acquire and employ a postage machine at your work, you can save a further 10 cents on every standard rate letter you send within Canada and 5 cents on letters to US and 30 cents on International mail. If you currently do not have a Postage machine, they can be rented for relatively low cost. If you use more than 60 - 100 stamps a month it's probably worthwhile. An example of entry level postage meter rental under $20 month from Francotyp Postalia is the myMail
You will have to evaluate the merits of renting a postage machine vs. licking those stamps, getting in the car and burning gas and time to go to the Post Office to buy them. Something I have noticed is bosses aren't always motivated to incur this extra rental expense, or really very put out themselves over postage because their staff end up doing the postal run often on their own time. If however it is on work time, think what that extra trip to the Post Office to top up stamps is costing in lost time and productivity? Also what happens if you are the one doing this after work on your own time and you slip and fall on the way into the Post Office? Will your boss be covering you under Workmans comp? Unlikely.
So where we do we go from here??
I'm not sure I can predict the future, but I think the sudden increase in postage rates by Canada Post may backfire and instead of balancing their books in 5 years, they may create increased reasons for Canadian business to move away from sending traditional mail and investigate other methods. Increased usage of email, epost and Electronic Funds transfer will increase as we move towards a more digital approach. What will this do to the cost of postage, will each one keep driving the other?
Is a $5 stamp in our future? Actually Canada Post already created this stamp back in 2003:
Reducing your Postal Costs further:
Increased postal costs are going to motivate people to try to reduce the impact on their business bottom line and they will increasingly explore whether optimizing their workflows can improve their cashflows. See our blog here for a recommended approach Document-Workflows-Impact-Business-Revenues-And-Results
Are you ready for the Canada Post 2014 rate increase?? What steps or strategies are you considering to reduce your reliance on mail? Have you reviewed your current postage machine contract for hidden fees attached to rate increases? Are you considering acquiring one? Do you need assistance?
Photo credits: $1 and $5 Canada Stamps Steven Slipp Design. Queen Elizabeth timeline and 4 cent stamp: Adminware - Canadian Philatley