- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Postal Service will dial back the price of sending packages next week in Alaska communities off the state road system.

Under a new pricing category the USPS calls Limited Overland Routes, the agency will roll back a January rate hike that officials called disproportionately higher for customers in rural Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/1eZB6W4) reported.

Customers sending packages from affected communities to Alaska addresses will see rates lower than the rest of the country, the USPS announced Thursday.

The change affects villages but also larger hub cities not connected to the highway system such as Juneau, Bethel and Nome.


“Limited Overland Routes re-establishes the same prices those customers enjoyed prior to the January 2014 price changes,” said Ron Haberman, USPS Alaska district manager, in the announcement.

Standard post items will be shipped for the lower price from any ZIP code within Alaska to another Limited Overland Route community or to any ZIP code within Alaska.

Alaska elected officials objected to the higher rates that took effect Jan. 26.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, met with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in early February, and Donahoe promised to roll back the rates. The USPS regulatory body formally approved the request about two weeks ago.

The rollback has been described as unprecedented. John Friess, communications manager for USPS western region, called it “uncharted territory.”

The pricing is not available to commercial mailers using a permit imprint or other type of postage payment.

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Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com