Archive of posts filed under the USPS News category.

Labeling List Changes

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced changes to the Labeling List data, effective January 1, 2015, with a mandatory use date of February 1, 2015. The Labeling Lists affected are L001, L002, L003, L006, L007, L008, L012, L201, L606, L607, and L801.

The Labeling Lists are located on the Postal Explorer web site under the Additional Links tab.

Use of Labeling List Data
The Labeling List data is used to define the specific destination information to be printed on sack labels, tray labels, and pallet labels. This destination information is used to route the mail inside the sacks, trays and pallets to the correct postal facility for processing. The destination information is based primarily on 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, and varies based on the class of mail, processing category, and other criteria. Virtually all container labels are generated using computer software, which accesses this Labeling List data in a file format, operating much like a look-up table.

Why the changes?
There are many reasons why the USPS makes changes to the Labeling List data. Recently, many of the changes are being made as a result of their efforts to consolidate processing facilities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Changes also take place when the USPS makes alterations to the service areas for certain processing facilities, which can be the result of shifts in population, mail volumes, staffing and many other reasons. Keep in mind that approximately 12% of the US population moves each year and there are about 1,800 new delivery addresses added each day. So, there are lots of ZIP Code changes happening all the time!

Time for change
The USPS provides for a transition period when these changes are announced, to allow software vendors time to update their software and for mailers to use up existing labels. During this period, the USPS encourages mailers to use the new Labeling List data as soon as possible, but it is acceptable to use the old Labeling List data until the mandatory date. In the case of this most recent update, the mandatory date is February 1, 2015.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to work with their software vendors and mail service providers to make sure that the changes are implemented on a timely basis. This is critical so that the correct destination information is populated into the Mail.dat® files, or any other files or printed documents that are used to process or submit postage statements (and other postal documentation) and to create sack, tray, and pallet labels. Keep in mind that the Labeling List changes involve not just the facility names, but the ZIP codes associated with those facilities. This affects the destination line on the tags and the mailpieces that are placed into the sacks, trays, and pallets. As such, these changes MUST be incorporated into the presort software first; if the data is incorrect during this process (and thus incorrect in the Mail.dat files), it cannot be corrected in Post-Presort software, such as DAT-MAIL™.

Automatic Postal Data Updates System
Window Book makes these updates easy for our clients by providing an automated method to update the Labeling List information into your Post-presort software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it!

 

 

Postal Service Ready for Busiest Mailing Day of the Year

WASHINGTON — Monday, Dec. 15, will mark the Postal Service’s busiest mailing day of the year with more than 640 million cards, letters and packages expected to be processed. Last year 607 million pieces of mail were delivered during the holiday season, reflecting an increase due to growth in advertising and mail package volume.

Holiday global mailing and shipping dates

WASHINGTON — With Christmas less than a month away, the U.S. Postal Service reminds customers to mail international holiday gifts early. The Postal Service recommends mailing by the dates below.

Wilt Chamberlain to Score Two Stamps of Approval 12/5/14

PHILADELPHIA — The icon whose dominance literally changed the rules of basketball returns to center court Friday to receive a stamping ovation when he becomes the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) first player to be immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp.

Limited edition 2014 Stamp Yearbook available for the holidays

WASHINGTON — Think the odds are remote for finding a holiday gift to please individuals having interests ranging from antique paintings to military history to hot rods to Batman? It’s a safe bet the Postal Service can help you as it delivers the 2014 Stamp Yearbook. And for the first time in the yearbook’s history, three new stamps are included exclusively with this year’s edition.

USPS Operation Santa Program

NEW YORK — With a little help from the U.S. Postal Service, neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep Santa Claus from delivering dreams this holiday season. Today marks the start of the Postal Service’s annual Operation Santa program, a campaign that has helped fulfill holiday wishes of children and their families for more than a century.

Postal Service Launches ‘Magical’ Mailbox Holiday Experience

WASHINGTON — Capitalizing on advancements in smartphone technology, the U.S. Postal Service has launched a new mobile marketing campaign that has transformed its approximately 156,271 blue mail collection boxes across the country into a holiday mobile experience using augmented reality (AR) technology.

Post Offices Open Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve

WASHINGTON — Post Offices nationwide will be open Christmas Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 24, and New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 31.

PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update Rescheduled

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) postponed the mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system from its original planned implementation date in October 2014. This update, which was again postponed from the planned November 9, 2014 date, will now be implemented on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Why the update?
The USPS periodically makes updates to the PostalOne! system to incorporate enhancements and bug fixes. Major updates are performed when there are significant changes to postal rates and/or regulations, such as when the USPS increases their prices in January each year. There are usually at least four PostalOne! software updates during the year: January, April, July, and October. There may also be interim updates to PostalOne! for immediate fixes or other system issues.

Summary of some of the changes for the November 30 release:

  • Nonprofit Authorization validation will include additional options of the Mail Owner Customer Reference ID (CRID) and Mail Owner Mailer ID (MID) in the electronic documentation (eDoc). Currently, only the Permit Number is used for this validation. This does not change the requirement for there to be a valid Nonprofit Authorization Number linked to the Mail Owner CRID, MID or Permit Number.
  • The Customer Validation Tool will be enhanced with a “Bulk Search” capability. Mailers may enter up to 250 records in the input file to conduct the search. The input file must include a CRID, MID, Permit, or Nonprofit Authorization Number. The USPS will return an output file in Excel format with validated, corrected, or not found information.
  • A variety of enhancements to the Business Reply Mail (BRM) system.
  • Logic for postage assessment of Seamless Acceptance errors will be included in this release but the assessments will not be activated at that time. In January 2015, the dollar amounts will be shown for review purposes only, with planned implementation of actual assessments in April 2015, based on the mailings for the March 2015 calendar month. Bypass Seamless Acceptance functionality will no longer be supported by PostalOne!, but this field in the eDoc will remain in the Mail.dat specifications.
  • New functionality added to the Online Enrollment via the Business Customer Gateway in order to facilitate accurate designation of a CRID when a customer attempts to add or modify a company name or business location.
  • Corrections to known issues.

Details of the changes for these updates may be found on the USPS RIBBS® web site for the November 2014 changes.

Handling Change
When these types of changes are announced, it is important for mailers to pay attention to the outage periods so that you can make adjustments in your mailing operations to accommodate the downtime. It is also extremely important for mailers to download and install the USPS Mail.dat Client software (also sometimes referred to as MD Client or MDR Client) as soon as it is available. This software can be downloaded from the Business Customer Gateway web site. Mailers also need to make any associated updates or configuration changes to software that interfaces with PostalOne! once their Mail.dat Client software is updated. For example, if you use DAT-MAIL’s eDocs Manager Plus or EDM10X, you will need to edit the configuration for this in the Window Book Automation Scheduler.

Resources
The USPS sends out notifications of all PostalOne! outages and software updates using the DMM Advisory. You can subscribe to the DMM Advisory by sending an email to dmmadvisory@usps.com. In addition, detailed information regarding the changes in the PostalOne! software are available on the USPS RIBBS web site. Also available on the RIBBS site are the planned release schedules for these updates.

Window Book offers our Professional Services to users who may need assistance to download and install the Mail.dat Client software from the USPS, or to make any necessary updates or configuration edits to your Window Book software when these PostalOne! updates occur.

 

Postal Service Letters FROM Santa Program Keeps Children’s Holiday Spirit Alive

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 to Santa — complete with a North Pole postmark!