Causes and Prevention of Undocumented Mailpieces

As more mailers participate in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Seamless Acceptance program, the topic of undocumented mailpieces is worthy of review. For many mailers any assessments for undocumented pieces could be the most expensive ones they face. Unlike some of the other assessments that are passed onto the respective mail owners, assessments for undocumented pieces will usually come right out the mail preparer’s pockets.

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Enterprise Payment System

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is providing mailers a means to pay for postal products and services through a single account, called the Enterprise Payment Account (EPA). The USPS has offered centralized payment systems in the past, such as Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS), but these are now being transitioned into the more modern Enterprise Payment System. The beauty of this system is that mailers may now manage all their payments for virtually any type of postal product or service online, and through a single account.

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Holiday Cities

This time of year, it is all about the excitement of the year-end holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year – whatever form the festivities take. However, in these cities with holiday theme names, it is holiday time all year long!

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PRC Issues Findings and Proposed Changes to USPS Pricing System

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Friday, December 1, 2017, published an order on the findings of its review of the USPS® pricing and classification systems for Market Dominant products. The Market Dominant pricing and classification system in place today was put into place by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). As part of that act, a mandatory 10-year review by the PRC was put into place to evaluate whether the pricing system has achieved the objectives of the original act. This review of the current systems was begun in December of 2016.

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An Important Set of Keys

We all have keys to lock and unlock our homes, offices, vehicles and other critical items in our lives. What then, you may ask, do keys have to do with mailing? To aid in the proper identification of postal facilities, particularly in eDoc, the USPS has assigned unique identification codes, called Locale Keys, to each postal processing and delivery facility. This allows for very precise identification of the postal facilities that mailers are using for their origin entry and for any additional entry points at which mail is entered.

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Why Aren’t You Using eInduction?

The USPS program eInduction has been around since 2013, but we continue to see many mailers who are still not taking advantage of it. eInduction is intended to replace the old hard copy PS Forms 8125 and 8017 clearance documents used for drop shipments of origin and destination mail – part of the continuing effort by the USPS to convert hard copy postal documentation into eDoc. Since the program began, the USPS has equipped acceptance facilities with scanners, which scan the container barcodes to ascertain that the containers have been properly verified and paid for at the origin post office. eInduction may be used for any drop ship entry facility, even if they are not yet equipped with these scanners. Mailers can even use it for origin mail.

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Seamless Acceptance

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) recently re-opened the Seamless Acceptance program to new participants. Seamless Acceptance is designed to streamline the verification, acceptance, payment and induction of mail. This program has benefits for both mailers and the USPS. To participate in this program, mailers must have 90% or more of their mail volume submitted as Full-Service® mail. The mailpieces must be uniquely barcoded and submitted electronically (eDoc). If the mailer is preparing Detached Mail Unit (DMU) verified origin entry or destination entry drop shipments, participation in eInduction is also required. Prior to participating in Seamless Acceptance, mailers must participate in an intermediate step called Seamless Parallel. This is essentially a testing period, during which time the mailer works with the USPS to insure the volume and mail preparation and submission requirements are being met.

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Processing Mail.dat Files for Informed Delivery™ Campaigns After June 24

As you may recall from earlier, the new USPS® Informed Delivery program allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing via an online dashboard. Mailers can likewise benefit from this program by including additional data in the eDoc to provide users with links to digital content related to the mailpiece. This can greatly enhance the value of the mailpieces by providing users advance notification of the incoming mailpiece and the opportunity to immediately access additional information. Mailers can provide color images of mailpieces, as well as images of flat size pieces, which are not currently available from the USPS. Along with the images, mailers can provide links to related digital content. Recipients of the email notices are then able to click on the links to see the color images and access the related digital content.  

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The Intelligence of Intelligent Mail

Every day we see and experience more advances in technology: our lives are full of electronic gadgets that put all sorts of information at our fingertips. Smart people are taking advantage of this electronic “intelligence” to help them perform daily tasks more quickly and easily and to access data using just a click or scroll. The same is true in the mailing world: there are constant improvements to the way data is shared among partners in the supply chain and with the United States Postal Service (USPS).

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Informed Delivery™ Campaigns

The star of the show at the recent National Postal Forum in Baltimore MD was definitely Informed Delivery! There were twelve workshops offered on this topic alone, plus the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) booth in the exhibit hall was all about Informed Delivery. As we told you in an earlier E-tip, the USPS recently rolled out the Informed Delivery program nationally, after pilot testing in limited geographic areas. This program allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing on an online dashboard. The USPS is reporting that up to 10,000 people per day are signing up for this service.

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