We have a dedicated team of expert professionals who not only provide outstanding technical support, but we help keep you up to date. Staying abreast of the ever-changing rules and regulations, policies and procedures in the mailing and shipping industry is a daunting task at best. We hope you will find this blog filled with pertinent information you can use to run your business more efficiently and profitably. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments.

Tag: Domestic Mail Manual

DMM Advisory

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

 June DMM Update

 Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com) is your source for up-to-date mailing standards. The Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus (menus that when moused over drop down to the side displaying subsections of the DMM), cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index.

Effective June 4, 2014, we introduced a streamlined version of the DMM. This is the first step in an initiative to reduce the size of the DMM without changes to content to make it quicker, easier, and more convenient to use.

Chapters 200, 300, and 400 have been consolidated to create a revised Chapter 200, “Commercial Letters, Flats, and Parcels.” We have eliminated redundant language and reorganized the remaining language for consistency and to improve flow and ease of use. Chapter 100, “Retail Letters, Flats, and Parcels,” has also been streamlined.

Additionally, the applicable Quick Service Guides (QSGs) have been renumbered to align with new Chapter 200 and updated with new DMM reference information. Applicable Customer Support Rulings have also been updated with new DMM reference information.

Our next scheduled DMM update is July 7, 2014.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) and DMM Advisories are available on Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com)

 

DMM Advisory

Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com) is your source for up-to-date mailing standards. The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus, cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index. On January 26 we updated our mailing standards to include the following changes:

Physical Characteristics of Stacking Pallets
We revised 705.8.3.1 to provide an option for mailers to stack pallets up to six tiers high. We published this information in the October 31, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

Implementation of Full-Service Intelligent Mail Requirements for Automation Prices
We revised various sections of the DMM to modify eligibility requirements for mailers to qualify for automation prices. We published this information in the November 14, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

New Standards to Enhance Package Visibility
We revised various sections of the DMM to require the use of Intelligent Mail® package barcodes (IMpb) on all commercial parcels, and to require the transmission of supporting electronic documentation including piece-level address or ZIP+4® Code information. We published this information in the December 5, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

Domestic Competitive Products Pricing and Mailing Standards Changes
We revised various sections of the DMM to reflect changes to prices and mailing standards for Competitive Products. We published this information in the December 12, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

Products Mailable at Nonprofit Standard Mail Prices
We revised 703.1.6.11 to show that for 2014, the value of a low-cost item is $10.40 or less. We published this information in the December 12, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

New Extra Service Labels for Items Bearing an IMpb and New Process for Registered Mail Inquiries
We revised 503.1.0 and 503.2.0 to update the process for customers making inquiries for uninsured (with no declared value) Registered Mail™ items and to introduce two new non-barcoded labels for Registered Mail™ and Certified Mail®  items that already bear an Intelligent Mail®  package barcode (IMpb). We published this information in the December 26, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

New Mailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services Products
We revised the DMM to implement the changes coincident with the price adjustments. We published this information in the December 26, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

Revised Standards for Shipments of Cremated Remains
We revised 601.12.0 to require mailers to use only Priority Mail Express™ service when shipping cremated remains. We published this information in the December 26, 2013, Postal Bulletin.

Our next scheduled DMM update is March 3, 2014.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) and DMM Advisories are available on Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com)

PMG Potter to Retire

From the October 26, 2010 DMM Advisory:

Postmaster General John E. Potter to Retire

To Be Succeeded by Deputy Postmaster General Donahoe

            

WASHINGTON — After nearly 10 years as U.S. Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service, John E. Potter today announced that he will retire on Dec. 3, after 32 years of service.

The Governors of the Postal Service named Patrick R. Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Potter.

A New York City native, Potter is credited with modernizing management, introducing long-term, strategic thinking necessary in a complex and changing marketplace, and transforming the Postal Service into a service-driven customer-focused and cost-sensitive organization.

Potter’s accomplishments include:

  • Eliminating more than $20 billion in costs during the last 10 years, with cumulative savings of more than $50 billion.
  • Building a leaner, more flexible workforce and increasing efficiency and productivity through technology and the expansion of automation in mail processing and delivery.
  • Reducing career employment from 787,000 positions in 2001 to about 584,000 today through attrition, using strong and focused management practices.
  • Leading the Postal Service and the nation through the anthrax terrorist attack following 9/11.
  • Creating a 10-year action plan that is a blueprint for necessary operational, legislative and regulatory changes to the current business model to ensure a viable Postal Service for decades to come.

 

Potter expressed his pride in the performance of the men and women of the Postal Service, saying its accomplishments resulted from the thousands of employees who dedicated themselves to meeting customer needs in a rapidly changing technological and communications environment.

“I fully appreciate their support in maintaining the tradition of trust that dates back to Benjamin Franklin and the founding of our nation,” Potter said. “It is our people that define our organization and it is their dedication and sense of purpose that drives our business.”

Louis J. Giuliano, Board of Governors chair, noted Potter’s many accomplishments in thanking the Postmaster General for his years of service.

“You have been a steadying and far-sighted leader throughout a period of dynamic change in America’s use of the mail and during times of economic uncertainty,” Giuliano said. “The hallmark of your success was your ability to build respectful relationships with all stakeholders, customers and employees that built a trusted level of credibility. We unreservedly regard your tenure as one of great accomplishment.”

Donahoe, currently Deputy Postmaster General, will become the 73rd Postmaster General in December. Potter credits Donahoe and his entire service team with regularly exceeding demanding performance goals and setting new records for on-time delivery and operational efficiency.

Donahoe began his career as a clerk in Pittsburgh in 1975, and in 2001, became responsible for all facets of mail operations, including processing delivery, retail, engineering, transportation and facilities. He has served in a variety of senior management positions in operations and human resources before becoming Deputy Postmaster General in 2005.

Giuliano cited Donahoe’s outstanding performance as one of the main reasons the Board chose Donahoe to build on the Postal Service’s achievements and lead the organization through a changing business environment.

“Pat and Jack have been a very effective team,” Giuliano said. “We’re very sorry to see Jack leave, but we’re grateful for the significant contributions his transformative approach to our organization and the nation it serves. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

Donahoe said he appreciated the confidence of the governors in naming him the next Postmaster General.

“It’s been an honor to serve with Jack,” Donahoe said. “Our challenge going forward is to implement the ambitious plan now in place to assure the continued viability of the Postal Service in fulfilling its mission of providing reliable, self-supporting, universal mail service to our nation. While we are confronted by challenges, I am confident we will succeed.”

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of products and services to fund its operations.

 Monica Lundquist

Postal Affairs Manager

Window Book, Inc.

617-395-4570

mlundquist@windowbook.com

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.

The following was published in the DMM Advisory today:

September DMM Update

Postal Explorer® (pe.usps.com) is your source for up-to-date mailing standards. The Domestic Mail Manual is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus, cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index. Today we updated our mailing standards to capture the following changes:

Alternative Addressing Format Options
We revised 507.1.0 and 602.3.0 to permit the use of certificates of mailing, Confirm service, Delivery Confirmation, and special handling extra services when using an alternative address format.

Contents of Periodicals Mail
We revised 707.3.0 to incorporate “content” changes to the standards governing pages, supplements, products and product samples, and mailpiece design.

New Endorsement for Returned Mailpieces
We revised Exhibit 507.1.4.1 to add a new endorsement, “Returned to Sender, Item Contains Nonmailable Contents,” for mailpieces that are returned due to contents that are nonmailable.

Commercial Flats Clarification
We revised 301.1.0 to update commercial flats text with minor editorial updates, and to rearrange the DMM reference text for better flow.

Clarification of Standards for Parcel Select
We revised 453.3.0 to remove standards for loyalty and growth rebates. We also revised 602.1.5.3 to note that all Parcel Select pieces must have a return address.

Delivery Address Visibility in Window Envelopes
We revised 202.2.1 and 302.2.1 to add a reference to current standards that require the delivery address to be completely visible within a window envelope, when used.

New Font Size Option for Optional Endorsement Lines
We revised 708.7.2 to provide a new font size option for mailers applying an optional endorsement line (OEL) to their mailpieces that do not bear a traditional Address Change Service (ACS) participant code.

Confirmation Services to the Northern Mariana Islands—ZIP Code 96952
We revised 503.9.2.4 and 503.10.2.3 to eliminate the Northern Mariana Islands (ZIP Code 96952) from the tables of ineligible ZIP Codes to receive Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation services.

Our next scheduled DMM update is October 4.

The Final Goodbye to the Red Round Stamp

As we’ve discussed previously in this blog, the red round date stamp from the United States Postal Service® (USPS®), which mailers have used for years as proof of mailing, is no longer available for electronically submitted postage statements. The USPS recently announced that the red round date stamp will also be discontinued for hard copy statements, effective March 15, 2010. This change will be effective for postal facilities that are equipped with PostalOne! Facilities without access to PostalOne! will continue to round stamp hard copy postage statements.

 

In lieu of the red round stamp, the USPS is asking mailers to obtain their receipts using the Business Customer Gateway to access PostalOne! Upon request, mailers may also obtain a hard copy receipt (Form 3607) from the USPS. The 3607 form, currently called the Weighing and Dispatch Certificate, will be reformatted and renamed in March to Mailing Transaction Receipt, Form 3607-R.

 

The mail verification and acceptance processes will not change, only the transaction receipt process. The acceptance clerk will verify the mailing as usual; however they will no longer complete the “USPS Only” section of the postage statements. In the past, the clerk would record the results of the verification process and manually apply the red round date stamp in this area. In the future, the clerks will enter this verification information into PostalOne! The wording on the postage statement form will change from “USPS Use Only” to “USPS Use Only—To Be Completed at Non-PostalOne! sites ONLY.” PostalOne! is the system of record and can be accessed to view postage statement details and print hard copies, if needed.

 

The Postal Service will modify the DMM® (Domestic Mail Manual) language regarding the return of a duplicate postage statement to the mailer, differentiating between PostalOne! and non-PostalOne! sites.

 

Here are the key changes:

 

  • If not submitting postage statements electronically, the customer must provide an original postage statement with the mailing.
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer complete the “USPS Use Only” section of hard copy postage statements for offices that enter postage statements into the PostalOne! system.
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer complete and return a “duplicate” postage statement (as defined in sections 244.4.1, 334.4.1, of the DMM).
  • Acceptance personnel will no longer round-date stamp hard copy postage statements.
  • Acceptance personnel will retain the original copy of the postage statement and attach the USPS Form 3607 (Statement of Mailing/Weighing and Dispatch Certificate)* to it on file, as prescribed by the Administrative Support Manual.
  • Upon a customer’s request, the acceptance personnel will print the USPS Form 3607 and provide it to the customer along with any duplicate copies of postage statements provided.
  • The only acceptable means of proof of postage payment for mailings will be an electronic version of a finalized postage statement, or the USPS Form 3607, generated from the Postal Service’s PostalOne! system.

 

*In the March 15 upgrade to the PostalOne! system, PS Form 3607 will be replaced with PS Form 3607-R (Mailing Transaction Receipt).

 

Mailers may obtain more information regarding electronic postage statements by referencing the User Access to Electronic Mailing Information and Reports Guide: Business Customer Gateway Information, On-line Services, and Full-Service Tools. In this document, Appendix B, Access to Hard Copy Postage Statements, provides information on how to access the Business Customer Gateway and retrieve postage statements.

 

For more information about the Business Customer Gateway and how to access it, visit ribbs.usps.gov.