Commercial agreements, fixed local costs and a continuing trend in declining mail volumes have impacted upon the price of postal products and services for Isle of Man Post Office customers this year.
However, even when the new prices come into effect on April 2, Isle of Man Post Office's prices will remain cheaper than its counterparts in the UK and Channel Islands and amongst the lowest in Europe.
Changes to postage and some ancillary services rates will be introduced. The local letter rate will rise by 2p with the price of a standard letter up to 100g for Isle of Man addresses increasing to 40p and the rate for UK bound standard letters rising by 1p to 42p. The local rate has risen higher than the UK price and this is primarily due to fixed local costs.
A number of price adjustments this year are a result of changes to Isle of Man Post Office's commercial agreement with Royal Mail, aligning our tariffs in coherence with the licence. The Special Delivery next-day service will be renamed to 'Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1pm', emphasising this premium product is guaranteed next day and this remains significantly cheaper than other courier companies starting from just £6.22. Similarly, Recorded Signed For is changing to become a standalone product renamed to 'Signed For.' This service provides the benefit of providing a signature on delivery and with the introduction of a £50 compensation for loss or damage, it is a cost-effective service particularly for regular eBay users and small business customers.
The most notable change, driven by our commercial agreement with Royal Mail, is the introduction of pricing based on the size as well as the weight of mail for international services. Pricing in Proportion simplifies the pricing structure for customers and provides the option to send items classed as either a letter (up to 750g) or a packet (up to 2kg). Meanwhile Parcelforce services will also be subject to price changes.
Customer buying habits have changed significantly and although there is a decline in letter traffic, there is however a continuing growth in parcels. Isle of Man Post Office is trying to stimulate this area of growth and has therefore reduced the price of sending packets above 1kg. This will be welcome news for regular eBay users.
There's also good news for friends and family of BFPO personnel. For the sixth year in succession, they can continue to send their loved ones standard letters and parcels up to 2kg to any British Forces Post Office address (BFPO) free of charge.
Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, Chairman of Isle of Man Post Office said:
"The majority of these price increases are a result of changing commercial agreements with Royal Mail and we are duty bound to increase our prices on a number of products and services. Conditions and factors outside our control coupled with our fixed local costs and the significant decline in mail volumes have also contributed. This year alone our local mail volumes have declined by almost 9%, 4% above the forecasted rate."
"Isle of Man Post Office is a dynamic business which has diversified its commercial interests during recent years to attract both on and off Island customers. Broadening our customer base with the introduction of new products and services is pivotal to our future success and sustainability, especially if we are to bridge the gap in mail revenue we are experiencing. I can assure our customers that we will continue to keep their interests at the forefront of our thoughts and strive to maintain a competitive price structure."