The implementation of 2015 postage rates on April 26 should ease the pain for newspapers surprised by a postage increase in January.

The price jump hit publishers who had been entering Periodicals mail at the new Postal Service transportation hubs, where direct con­tainers destined for local post offices within the territory of a recently closed mail processing plant can be dropped for speedier delivery.

The unannounced postage increase came about because a grace period to use the previous Sectional Center Facility, or SCF, plant discounts expired and the new rate had not kicked in yet.

National Newspaper Association Postal Com­mittee Chairman Max Heath appealed to the Postal Service that Periodicals copies dropped at the hubs should still earn a Sec­tional Center Facility discount because they avoid using postal transportation to a more distant plant.

The Postal Service has informally confirmed that the SCF discount will be recognized. Publication of the new rate will occur for now only through PostalOne!, the USPS Business Mail Acceptance software system, Heath said.

“This is an extremely important discount for us because the contraction of the mail processing network puts so much of our subscriber mail in jeopardy,” Heath said. “We must be able to use these hubs to maximum advantage by entering flats tubs with copies destined for a local post office within the hub area. Because entering at the hub is a classic form of drop-shipping, publishers should earn the discounted rate.”

– National Newspaper Association