The United States Postal Service (USPS) is implementing new Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) compliance assessments starting in July 2017. If you recall, back in January 2015 the USPS implemented a non-compliance fee of $.20 per package for package mailings not meeting the requirements for Intelligent Mail, such as having the IMpb on the packages. Starting in July– just a few months away! - those assessments will be extended to include the quality of those required elements.
As we have shared with you in previous E-Tips, the USPS is offering six promotion programs for calendar year 2017; these promotions offer postage discounts for eligible mailings. Virtually all of the USPS Promotions and Incentives programs require that mailings be submitted electronically into PostalOne!. This requirement (along with other requirements) means that we often get questions from mailers regarding what specific data needs to be in the Mail.dat files to claim the incentives, or, how to troubleshoot issues when submitting these files to PostalOne!
As we told you in an earlier e-Tip, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is eliminating the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) method for transmitting package shipment files to comply with recent audit findings, and to provide more secure data transmissions. FTP is currently one of the acceptable transmission methods for submitting shipment files to the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) and Electronic Verification System (eVS) systems, but this option will no longer be available effective August 31, 2017.
One of the new offerings in the United States Postal Service®(USPS®) 2017 promotion and incentives program is starting next week: the Direct Mail Starter Promotion. This promotion is new for 2017, and runs from May 1 through July 31 of 2017. Registration for this promotion started on March 15, 2017 and runs through July 31, 2017. This promotion is offered to first time promotion mailers, i.e. mailers who have not participated in any past promotions. The promotion is designed to promote offers and events that incorporate the use of print-mobile technology, such as a QR barcode, on up to 10,000 mailpieces during the length of the promotion. The 10,000 mailpiece limit will be verified at the Customer Registration ID (CRID) level. Eligible mailings will receive an upfront 5% postage discount. In addition, the option to use an automated mail tracking system that uses barcode scanning technology to track mailings is included in this promotion.
Whether you are a drop shipping novice or have been drop shipping for years, there is an option that may be the best kept drop shipping secret: Priority Mail® Open and Distribute(PMOD). Many mailers overlook this option, which can be extremely valuable for many situations. For example, if you think you don’t have enough drop ship volume to fill a truck or even enough to send to a consolidator, PMOD may be an option to try. What about those last few residual sacks or trays from a larger mailing that you are drop shipping using your normal methods? Do you have pesky mail delivery complaints in certain areas of the country? How about wanting to improve the delivery time for your USPS Marketing Mail® (formerly Standard Mail®), but not being able to afford bumping it up to First-Class Mail®? If you have ever run into these situations, PMOD may be just the solution you have been looking for.
A frequent question we receive from mailers regards how to properly report spoilage or shortage when submitting files to PostalOne!® There are a multitude of reasons why mailers need to report spoilage or shortage: perhaps some of the mailpieces get damaged during processing, or you may run out of some of the mailpiece components before the job is finished. We’ve all heard the saying "stuff happens" (paraphrased here of course!). Mailpiece production and mailing processes are essentially manufacturing processes, and regardless of the quality assurance procedures you have in place, it is almost inevitable that some pieces need to get removed from the mailing. Whatever term you use to call these pieces...pulls, deletes, mutes, rejects, spoils, shorts…these are pieces that get pulled from your mailings for any number of reasons. Mailers likely already have procedures in place to handle this from a manufacturing perspective, but what about making the adjustments to
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.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been pilot testing a program called Informed Delivery, which 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 on an online dashboard. The pilot test is currently limited to areas of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. However, this program will be rolled out nationally sometime in May.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced at the recent Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings that assessments for errors above published thresholds for eInduction mailings will begin in May 2017. The assessments will be based on April 2017 mailing data, and the invoice reports will be issued on May 11, 2017. The assessment process will mirror the process currently in place for the Full-Service® assessments.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is introducing Informed Visibility (IV®), to provide the mailing industry with more powerful insight into the USPS mailstream. This new program is designed to provide a one-stop shop for mail tracking data, consolidated into one system, as opposed to tracking the data via IMb Tracing® and PostalOne!®. The key to the success of this new program is the near real-time expanded visibility into mailings as the mail moves through the mailstream, that is much more powerful than the tracking data that exists today which can sometimes be delayed. Another benefit is a user-friendly data provisioning and data delegation, so it is much easier for mailers to specify what data they want, when they want it, and who receives the data. The result is increased value of the mail, enabling mailers to better plan mailing campaigns and resources.