Archive of posts filed under the USPS News category.

Postal Service Letters FROM Santa Program

NORTH POLE — Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and the Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter, complete with a North Pole postmark.

Take a picture with Charlie Brown characters

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service invites America to share in a series of holiday-themed augmented reality (AR) experiences that bring the nation’s 160,000 blue Post Office collection boxes to life via smartphones. The invitation is part of a mailing that provides information on exciting postal products, services and key mailing dates to make this the most convenient holiday mailing season ever.

USPS Promotion Programs for 2016

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) filed a proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for approval of five promotional programs aimed at increasing mail volumes by offering incentives to mailers. If approved, these promotions will be available during the calendar year 2016. Starting with the first Mobile Barcode incentive back in 2011, the USPS continues to put incentive programs in place for mailers to take advantage of postage discounts or rebates for submitting mailings that meet the promotion requirements. There are five promotions proposed for the calendar year 2016:

  1. Earned Value Promotion
  2. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion
  3. Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video In Print Promotion
  4. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion
  5. Mobile Shopping Promotion

Read more:

USPS reports end of fiscal year results

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of $5.1 billion for fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015). The net loss is largely due to certain statutorily mandated payments over which the Postal Service has no control. Notwithstanding the loss, total revenue was $68.9 billion for the year, an increase of approximately $1.1 billion from 2014.

USPS to deliver more than 15 billion pieces of holiday mail, packages

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service expects to deliver a total of approximately 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats, and packages during the 2015 holiday season.

Temporary Emergency Committee of the Postal Service Board of Governors to meet Nov. 13

WASHINGTON — The Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service (“TEC”) will meet Nov. 13 in open session at Postal Service headquarters, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. The public is welcome to observe the meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The TEC is expected to discuss the following items:

New Forever Geometric Snowflakes stamps bring color and cheer

NEW YORK — Post Offices across America are experiencing a blizzard of new Forever stamps today with the introduction of the Geometric Snowflakes Forever stamps.

First Price Increase In Three Years for Commercial Priority Mail Scheduled for January 2016

WASHINGTON — Today the United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of proposed price changes for its Shipping Services products to take effect next year, following the conclusion of the holiday season. The filing does not include any price increase for First-Class Mail or any other Postal Service Mailing product such as the Forever stamp.

Mail Anywhere

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) offers a Mail Anywhere program, which allows customers to use the same postage payment permit regardless of what mailing location they use to enter the mail. Mailer participation in this program is limited to those with a high percentage of Full-Service® mail at the business location and who meet various other criteria. The Mail Anywhere program is an added benefit offered to Full-Service customers, allowing them to use a single permit to present Full-Service or mixed Full-Service mailings at any Business Mail Acceptance site. Not only does this greatly simplify permit management, but it also saves permit application and renewal fees for customers who mail at numerous locations.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Mail Anywhere service is available to customers who mail at 90% or higher Full-Service levels for the customer’s given business location and meet the electronic Full-Service verification criteria during the month prior to their request to participate in Mail Anywhere.
  • Mail Anywhere is available for Full-Service First-Class Mail® (Cards, Letters and Flats only); Standard Mail® (Letters and Flats only, including Nonprofit); Bound Printed Matter (Flats only); and Periodicals (Letters and Flats only).
  • Permit types that are eligible include Permit Imprint; Pre-canceled Stamps and Metered. A variety of postage statement types are also supported in Mail Anywhere, including Single Permit; Combined Mail; Comail; Mixed-Class Comail, and Copal.
  • Mailers may submit their electronic data via Mail.dat®, Mail.XML, Postal Wizard (First-Class and Standard Mail only, Full-Service only); or IMsb (First-Class and Standard Mail Only).

The application process for using Mail Anywhere is fairly simple. The process applies to the individual that is preparing the mail. For example, if a Mail Owner wishes to participate, but employs a Mail Service Provider (MSP) to prepare their mailings, the Mail Owner needs to request their MSP contact the PostalOne!® Help Desk to go through the authorization process.

The first step is to verify that the Mail Owner meets all of the eligibility requirements. The best way to do that is to access the Mailer Scorecard data to review both the Full-Service mail volumes for the previous month, as well as to verify that none of the error thresholds for the electronic verification have been exceeded during that time.

Once eligibility is verified, the application email should be sent to the PostalOne! Help Desk at Included in the email should be:

  • Request for Mail Anywhere participation
  • Preparer’s Customer Registration ID (CRID) for the location where the mail is prepared (if multiple preparation locations will be used, the CRID for each location must be provided)
  • Preparer’s Contact Name, Company Name, Business Address, City, State and ZIP code
  • Mail Owner’s permit numbers and BMEU’s City, State and ZIP code where the permit was opened
  • Postal Facilities where you plan on dropping your mail
  • Permit numbers that you wish to be consolidated

Preparation of Mail
Participation in this program means that Mail Owners or Mail Service Providers may need to adjust some of the data that is submitted electronically to PostalOne! via the Mail.dat files.

The PostalOne! Help Desk can provide more detailed instructions on how to correctly populate the Mail.dat files for mailings that participate in Mail Anywhere. We highly encourage people to test submitting these types of mailings using the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) prior to submitting them for live production.

Two very critical pieces of information for these jobs are:

  1. The Payment Account Number in the Mailer Postage Accounting (MPA) file, field MPA-1127. This number is different than the postage permit number, and is assigned by the USPS when the application for Mail Anywhere is submitted. Typically, there is a Payment Account Number assigned for each postage permit that is participating in the Mail Anywhere program.

    Note: The Payment Account Number is different than the CAPS account number and the USPS Finance Number. USPS Finance Numbers are not supported in the Mail.dat file specification: these numbers are looked up by PostalOne! in the USPS database, based upon the permit numbers and payment account numbers provided in the Mail.dat file.
  2. The Verification Post Office. Since the postage payment permit in this program may be located anywhere, the post office where the mail is verified and accepted may be different than the post office where the postage payment permit is held. The verification post office data is populated in the Segment (SEG) file of the Mail.dat file (fields SEG-1118 and SEG 1119).

If you encounter issues uploading Mail.dat files to PostalOne! for Mail Anywhere jobs, we suggest you open a help desk ticket with PostalOne! by sending an email to Include a description of the issue, and attach the Mail.dat file that you are working with, along with screen shots of the errors you are getting.

Mailers should not need to change anything with regard to the indicias (permit imprints) printed on their mailpieces or their metering information – unless some permits have been closed out or consolidated as part of this application process. Mailers should work with the PostalOne! Help Desk or their local District Business Mail Entry office for guidance on any changes in these areas.

The USPS offers both a Fact Sheet and a Customer Participation Guide for Mail Anywhere, both of which are available on the USPS RIBBS web site. Window Book’s DAT-MAIL software fully supports Mail Anywhere mailings.

Window Book can help you implement Mail Anywhere in your mailing operation and automate your processes using our software and service solutions.

Window Book offers a free Mailing Optimization Analysis.

Call us at 1-800-524-0380 for more details or to sign up for your FREE Mailing Optimization Analysis!



Holiday shipping deadlines available

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service is announcing the 2015 holiday mailing and shipping deadlines for domestic, international and military services as customers begin to prepare for the busy shopping and shipping season. Customers are encouraged to ship early, whenever possible.