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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Mail Anywhere 101

The USPS® offers the Mail Anywhere program as an added benefit for Full-Service® customers, allowing them to use a single permit to present Full-Service or mixed Full-Service mailings at any Business Mail Acceptance site. Not only does this greatly simplify permit management, but it also saves permit application and renewal fees for customers who mail at numerous locations. We continue to receive a lot of questions regarding participation and mail preparation under this program, so thought it appropriate to provide a Mail Anywhere primer as this week’s e-Tip.

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Don’t Forget – PostalOne! Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, August 20, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning August 20, 2017. PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, August 21, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period.

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Barcode Uniqueness on Trays, Sacks, and Pallets

One of the areas that we often receive questions on is the management of the uniqueness of the Intelligent Mail® barcodes on the tags for trays, sacks and pallets. Managing the uniqueness for these barcodes can be a challenge, particularly if you have a number of different mail processing workflows. Two keys to success with managing this uniqueness is to remember that: the barcodes must maintain uniqueness for a period of at least 45 days after the mailing date, and that each and every method you use for generating these barcodes needs to be included in your uniqueness management process.

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Don’t Forget! PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update process, on Sunday morning June 25, 2017. PostalOne! will then be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Monday, June 26, 2017 and TEM will be unavailable during that update period.

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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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Security in the Mail

Most people don’t associate law enforcement with mailing, but the fact of the matter is that the United States Postal Service has one of the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Founded by the first postmaster general, Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service serves as the federal law enforcement, crime prevention and security arm of the USPS. Their mandate is to protect the entire Postal Service system, including employees and customers. Serving in the Inspection Service is quite a popular gig – last year there were over 6400 applications, but only 69 new Inspectors and 56 Postal Police Officers made it through the rigorous training program.

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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.

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International and Domestic Market Dominant Federal Register Notices

Today the proposed International and Domestic Market Dominant Federal Register Notices for the January 2014 price change were posted on under the Federal Register Notices tab of the left-hand side. The official 30 day comment period will start once the Federal Register Office reopens and posts these notices on the web site. We look forward to feedback from the mailing industry.


New Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) Requirement Effective January 26, 2014

The Postal Service is revising Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (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. Included in these new requirements is a per-piece price adjustment for mailpieces not complying with the IMpb standards.

The Postal Service is also adding DMM reference to a future requirement to use a complete destination delivery address or an 11-digit delivery point validated ZIP CodeTM in the mailer’s electronic documentation.

Read more:  Federal Register (Vol. 78, No. 243).

Visit USPS RIBBS website for information on Shipping Services File (SSP Version 1.6).