USPS Postpones Mail Network Optimization Updates
As we told you in a previous E-tip, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) has plans for a network optimization initiative, which includes the potential closure of hundreds of postal facilities and adjustments to the delivery service standards. However, due to feedback from a number of US Senators, the USPS recently announced the postponement of this initiative until May 15, 2012.
Network facility changes on mailings
As previously detailed, the USPS proposed closing approximately 250 processing facilities. The USPS recently updated the information regarding the process for studying these proposed changes, which they are calling an Area Mail Processing [AMP] study, and a list of the facilities under study is available on the USPS’ web site. The status of each AMP study is shown on its AMP web page. The USPS also recently issued a mailing industry alert, including a response to some frequently asked questions:
Q: Will customers continue to be able to enter bulk mail at Business Mail Entry Units (BMEUs) currently located in impacted facilities?
A: Where practicable, a BMEU will remain in the impacted facility. In situations where this is not feasible, acceptance units will be located within relatively close geographic proximity to the impacted facility.
Q: Will Designated Section Center Facility (DSCF) discounts still be available for mailings entered at BMEUs that remain in impacted facilities?
A: In an effort to mitigate concerns about the potential loss of the SCF discount, the Postal Service will continue, as the network is transitioned, to allow mailers to claim the SCF discount at the specified new entry unit location for mailings that previously had been entered at the BMEU of an impacted facility.
As part of this consolidation, the USPS also proposed making modifications to the current delivery standards so that the reduction in the number of processing facilities will not impact service. The USPS, as expected, also published a Federal Register notice with additional details on the proposed service standard changes, with a 60-day comment period. Information on these proposed changes, which essentially involves the elimination of overnight service for First-Class and Periodicals mail, can also be accessed on the USPS informational web page.
What it means for mailers
So, what does all this mean for mailers? No immediate impacts, as the proposed closures have been postponed until May 2012. However, once facilities start to close, mailers will need to make sure their mailing software is updated with the most recent postal destination data updates. This includes data such as Labeling Lists, destination drop ship data files (including re-directions), and so forth, and impacts both presort and post-presort software applications. We will continue to keep you posted as new announcements on this initiative are made.
Postal Concierge E-tips would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our dedicated readers
(over 7,000 now!) for your interest this past year, and we wish all of you have very Happy Holidays!