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!

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Shelter from the Storms

You don’t need to look very far these days to see reports regarding disasters impacting thousands of people here in the United States. Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, the many fires devouring acres of land in the upper Northwest. Our thoughts are with the many people impacted by these disasters, as well as the emergency responders and volunteers providing assistance. Situations like these also prompt us to pause to consider how well our businesses would withstand such emergencies. Do we have a disaster recovery plan? Do we have a back-up plan for our business data? In too many cases, the answers to those questions is “no.”

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

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.

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

FTP Package Shipment Transmissions Ending in August

Just another gentle reminder that the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems, but this option will no longer be available effective August 31, 2017.

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

No More FTP Package Shipment Transmissions

As we mentioned awhile ago, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems, but this option will no longer be available effective August 31, 2017.  

Read more: https://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Elimination of FTP Package Shipment Transmissions Delayed

As we mentioned earlier, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems. However, the USPS is eliminating this FTP option to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. The planned effective date for this change was January 31, 2017, but the USPS has now postponed this to May 31, 2017 in order to give shippers more time to make the transition.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Changes to Labeling Lists in 2017

You’ve most likely heard terminology such as Labeling Lists, Drop Ship Destination Data, City-State Files, Zone Chart Data, and so forth, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what all these terms really mean, and why they are important to your mailing operations. The short answer – the USPS® provides mailers “Destination Data Files” which may be downloaded from the USPS web site. There are a number of different files included in this group, all of which are critical to insure that your mail is prepared properly and is labeled and routed to the correct postal facilities for processing and delivery. This data can – and does – change frequently, so it is critical that mailers pay attention to these changes and update their presort and post-presort software with the new data as soon as it becomes available.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

No More FTP Package Shipment Transmissions

As we told you in an earlier e-Tip, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files effective January 31, 2017. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems. However, the USPS is eliminating this FTP option to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

New Federal Register Notices

From the DMM Advisory on Friday:

September 17, 2010

DMM Advisory

Pricing keeping you informed about the prices and mailing standards of the United States Postal Service

Published Federal Register Notices

The following two Federal Register notices were published today and are now posted on the Postal Explorer® website at pe.usps.com. We encourage you to check them out:

Intelligent Mail Package Barcode This advanced notice of proposed rulemaking incorporates standards for the optional use of Intelligent Mail® package barcodes (IMpb) no later than January 2011; and requires the mandatory use of IMpb on all domestic packages beginning in January 2012. The IMpb will provide valuable piece-level package information. We’re looking forward to receiving and considering mailing industry feedback on the proposed timeline before publishing the final standards. Customers are encouraged to respond on or before September 27, 2010.

Express Mail Open and Distribute and Priority Mail Open and Distribute — We are proposing to revise the service commitment for Express Mail Open and Distribute as a guaranteed end of day product to reflect the way it is processed. We are also proposing to add a minimum five-pound weight requirement for Express Mail® Open and Distribute and Priority Mail® Open and Distribute sacks so that they won’t be mistaken for empty sacks and delayed in handling. Customers are encouraged to respond on or before October 18, 2010.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) is available on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com). To subscribe to the DMM Advisory, send an e-mail to dmmadvisory@usps.com. Simply indicate “subscribe” in the subject line.

Shipping Price Changes for 2010 Make USPS A More Attractive Option Than Ever!

The major small package shipping companies have announced their new rates for 2010, which become effective on January 4, 2010. FedEx® announced an average increase of 4.9 percent, as did UPS™. Both companies announced increases for ground shipping options of 4.9%, with higher increases for expedited and international shipments. The higher increases, around 6.9%, are being offset somewhat by lowering the fuel surcharges by 2%. It is important to note that along with the increase to their base rates, UPS and FedEx are also increasing their accessorial charges and surcharges. It is important for shippers to take these additional increases into account as well as the base price increases, as the accessorial charges can really add up.

 The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced increases on their shipping prices of 3.3% on average. The USPS price structure does not include accessorial charges such as residential delivery, Saturday delivery or fuel surcharges.

 USPS Price Percentage Changes by Category

For companies who ship packages in bulk quantities, there are reduced rate Commercial Base prices and Commercial Plus prices. Commercial Base pricing reflects a savings of 5% to 10% over retail prices, depending on the shipping category. Commercial Base pricing is available for qualifying Express Mail, Priority Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Express Mail International and Priority Mail International shippers. There are varying qualifying criteria for each category of shipper, such as using Permit, PC Postage, Click-N-Ship, or an approved Information Based Indicia (IBI) metering device.

 Commercial Plus prices are available for large volume shippers who meet the criteria for Commercial Base pricing, and who ship more than 100,000 Priority Mail packages per year, or more than 6,000 Express Mail packages per year, or who have a customer commitment agreement with the Postal Service. The savings over Retail prices for this category range from 9.6% for Priority Mail to 14.5% for Express Mail.

 The USPS also made some other interesting changes in their rate structure for 2010:

  • There are some rates that are actually going DOWN! The retail price for Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes went down from $4.95 to $4.90.  These Priority Mail flat rate envelopes are already a super deal, so this rate reduction makes them even more attractive. Like the TV commercials say, “If it fits, it ships.” For mailers shipping in bulk quantities, they may be able to qualify for even lower rates if they meet the qualification requirements for Commercial Base or Commercial Plus pricing.
  • The Priority Mail one pound price is now zoned (previously mailpieces under 1 lb. were the same price, regardless of the zone). I’m not sure why the USPS would want to complicate the rate structure with this move, so we’ll see what impact it has on shipping volumes.
  • There is a “new” half-pound price for Commercial Plus items.
  • The USPS added new Cubic Volume Commercial Plus price tiers (5 tiers) to encourage smaller & more space-efficient packaging. Cubic Volume is based on size rather than weight: the smaller the package, the lower the price (even if it’s up to 20 lbs.). Shippers should be able to save a lot of money using this option, both in packaging materials and in shipping charges. Shippers still have the option to use the weight-based rates.