Confirm® EMD Support to Continue
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced this week that they plan to continue supporting and accepting the traditional Electronic Mail Data (EMD) file for use with the Confirm® service. The EMD function of Confirm is critical to allow mail tracking by mailers who do not use Intelligent Mail® services and therefore do not have access to Start-The-Clock data. Start-The-Clock, as we described in last week's e-tip, is the point at which the USPS first scans the IM container label barcode for purposes of identifying when and where the mail was accepted. Start-The-Clock data is critical information in terms of service performance measurement for the USPS and for monitoring delivery times for mailers.
Good news for Confirm users
The USPS originally announced the discontinuation of the EMD
file effective May 2009 when it was to be replaced, theoretically, with Start-The-Clock
. However, no replacement for "non-IM" mail was available at that time, so the EMD
function was continued until November 2009, when it was granted yet another reprieve until May 14, 2010. With still no replacement in sight, the USPS , thanks to the efforts of the mailing industry, decided to continue support of the EMD file
until such time as Start-The-Clock
can be enhanced to include non-IM mail. This is good news
of the Confirm service
for tracking mail, since without support of EMD
; there would be no way to obtain mail tracking information for non-IM mail.
What is "Enhanced Start-The-Clock"?
The USPS plans to expand the Start-The-Clock
service to all workshare mailings, not just IM. This means that mailers who prepare mail for worksharing discounts other than IM will be able to take advantage of Start-The-Clock
information. This is beneficial for the USPS as well, since they need to include as much mail as possible when measuring their service performance.
Support of the traditional EMD
function of Confirm
will be retired at some point, which will be announced at the same time as the deployment of Enhanced Start-The-Clock
. The USPS promises plenty of advance notification for both announcements via the Federal Register notification process. In the meantime, both IM and non-IM mailers may continue to take advantage of the Confirm service
for mail tracking.