National Postal Forum Highlights: FREE Confirm Data and First-Class Second Ounce for Mailers and more
The annual National Postal Forum (NPF) was held in San Diego, CA on May 1-4, 2011, with approximately 4,000 attendees. There were a number of announcements from the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) during the NPF.
Free Confirm Data
Effective with the anticipated pricing change in January of 2012, the USPS will begin offering free Confirm mail tracking data
participating in Intelligent Mail® Full-Service. Keep in mind that this free information will consist of just the raw scan data
will likely need to use third-party services to be able to interpret and use the scan data
. The USPS also plans to enhance the visibility of the mail
to all mailers
participating in Intelligent Mail, by providing more piece scan data
, more bundle scan data
, more tray scan data
and more container scan data
. No firm timeline was set for these scan enhancements, but these will be available to Intelligent Mail Basic Services mailers
as well, but likely as fee-based options. The free Confirm
service will also be available to commercial parcel mailers
using Intelligent Mail Package Barcodes.
First-Class Second Ounce Free
The USPS also announced its plan to present a proposal to the Postal
Regulatory Commission (PRC) to provide the second ounce free
Mail®. This proposal is an attempt to slow the decline of First-Class mail volume
by making the pricing more attractive. This proposal is anticipated to also be part of the 2012 pricing changes
Software and web site changes
The USPS announced that starting in 2012 it plans to issue two major and two minor software
releases per year, and will provide a published schedule of the releases. This will help reduce the frequency of mailing software
updates and provide more advanced notice for planning purposes. The USPS also plans on making modifications to both the USPS RIBBS web site (https://ribbs.usps.gov
) and the home site USPS.com (www.usps.com
). The goal of these changes
is to improve security, make the sites more user-friendly, and move the data fulfillment (e.g. NCOALink™
delete files, ACS files, etc.) to a separate Electronic Product Fulfillment (EPF) web site.
Promote the value of mail
Starting in September 2011, the USPS will embark on a major multi-media marketing campaign to promote the value of mail
. The USPS plans to work closely with customers during the development of this campaign and encourages mailers to develop their own campaigns to integrate and build on the USPS message.
Fix the financials
The USPS financial
situation is very critical and they plan to address it using several different approaches. One is for the Chief Financial Officer, Joe Corbett, to take on the project of simplifying the USPS cost structure, including working with the Postal
Regulatory Commission. A separate initiative includes a legislative strategic plan, which involves improved communication with members of Congress, particularly new members, about the USPS financial
situation and other concerns.
Focus on delivery
The USPS also announced that its future focus will be more on the delivery
of the mail
, and less on ancillary initiatives such as retail sales and other projects that distract from the service that they provide better than any other postal
system in the world - delivery
to every household and business in America.
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