Labeling List Changes Effective April 1, 2015

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced changes to the Labeling List data, effective April 1, 2015, with an expiration date of May 31, 2015. The Labeling Lists affected are L001, L002, L003, L004, L005, L006, L007, L012, L201, L606, L607, and L801.
The Labeling Lists are located on the Postal Explorer web site under the Additional Links tab. This will direct you to the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking System (FAST) web site, from there you can choose Resources, then Label Lists File Download, then Label List Files.

Use of Labeling List Data
The Labeling List data is used to define the specific destination information to be printed on sack labels, tray labels, and pallet labels. This destination information is used to route the mail inside the sacks, trays and pallets to the correct postal facility for processing. The destination information is based primarily on 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, and varies based on the class of mail, processing category, and other criteria. Virtually all container labels are generated using computer software, which accesses this Labeling List data in a file format, operating much like a look-up table.

Why the changes?
There are many reasons why the USPS makes changes to the Labeling List data. Recently, many of the changes are being made as a result of their efforts to consolidate processing facilities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Changes also take place when the USPS makes alterations to the service areas for certain processing facilities, which can be the result of shifts in population, mail volumes, staffing and many other reasons. Keep in mind that approximately 12% of the US population moves each year and there are about 1,800 new delivery addresses added each day. So, there are lots of ZIP Code changes happening all the time!

Time for change

The USPS modified the frequency of these updates last fall from quarterly to monthly. What this means for mailers is that Labeling Lists are now effective for a period of only two months. While these updates have always been important to insure proper direction of the mail, keeping up to date is now more critical than ever. Gone are the days when mailers could perform their postal presort process months in advance. Due to this change, the maximum advance time for the presort process is 60 days, and in reality probably less than that to accommodate production schedule fluctuations.
The scheduled and actual induction dates (mailing dates) also become much more critical as a result of this change. These dates are what is used by the USPS to determine if valid Labeling Lists have been used to process the mailing.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to work with their software vendors and mail service providers to make sure that the changes are implemented on a timely basis. This is critical so that the correct destination information is populated into the Mail.dat® files, or any other files or printed documents that are used to process or submit postage statements (and other postal documentation) and to create sack, tray, and pallet labels. Keep in mind that the Labeling List changes involve not just the facility names, but the ZIP codes associated with those facilities. This affects the destination line on the tags and the mailpieces that are placed into the sacks, trays, and pallets. As such, these changes MUST be incorporated into the presort software first; if the data is incorrect during this process (and thus incorrect in the Mail.dat files), it cannot be corrected in Post-Presort software, such as DAT-MAIL™.

Automatic Postal Data Updates System
Window Book makes these updates easy for our clients by providing an automated method to update the Labeling List information into your Post-presort software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it!

And if you think that’s cool – ask us about how we can automate the process of downloading and installing new MDR Client software from PostalOne!®

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DMM Advisory

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)

 

Labeling List changes: Frequency for USPS Data Updates moves to monthly

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced changes to the Labeling List data, effective July 1, 2014, with a mandatory use date of August 1, 2014. The Labeling Lists affected are L001, L011, L012, and L606.

The Labeling Lists are located on the Postal Explorer web site under the Additional Links tab.

Use of Labeling List Data
The Labeling List data is used to define the specific destination information to be printed on sack labels, tray labels, and pallet labels. This destination information is used to route the mail inside the sacks, trays and pallets to the correct postal facility for processing. The destination information is based primarily on 3-digit ZIP Code™ prefix, and varies based on the class of mail, processing category, and other criteria. Virtually all container labels are generated using computer software, which accesses this Labeling List data in a file format, operating much like a look-up table.

Why the changes?
There are many reasons why the USPS makes changes to the Labeling List data. Recently, many of the changes are being made as a result of their efforts to consolidate processing facilities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Changes also take place when the USPS makes alterations to the service areas for certain processing facilities, which can be the result of shifts in population, mail volumes, staffing and many other reasons. Keep in mind that approximately 12% of the US population moves each year, and there are about 1,800 new delivery addresses added each day. So, there are lots of ZIP Code changes happening all the time!

Time for change
The USPS provides for a transition period when these changes are announced, to allow software vendors time to update their software and for mailers to use up existing labels. During this period, the USPS encourages mailers to use the new Labeling List data as soon as possible, but it is acceptable to use the old Labeling List data until the mandatory date. In the case of this most recent update, the mandatory date is August 1, 2014.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to work with their software vendors and mail service providers to make sure that the changes are implemented on a timely basis. This is critical so that the correct destination information is populated into the Mail.dat® files, or any other files or printed documents that are used to process or submit postage statements (and other postal documentation) and to create sack, tray, and pallet labels. Keep in mind that the Labeling List changes involve not just the facility names, but the ZIP codes associated with those facilities. This affects the destination line on the tags and the mailpieces that are placed into the sacks, trays, and pallets. As such, these changes MUST be incorporated into the presort software first; if the data is incorrect during this process (and thus incorrect in the Mail.dat files), it cannot be corrected in Post-Presort software, such as DAT-MAIL™.

Automatic Postal Data Updates System
As luck would have it, Window Book has an automated method to update the Labeling List information into your software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it!

January DMM Update

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)