USPS PCC Insider

APRIL 2009

FRONT PAGE WHAT'S UP PCC BLOG. CLICK HERE.
KEEPING POSTED SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS INFO@USPS

FRONT PAGE

MAY 11 PRICE CHANGE

HELPING YOU PREPARE FOR NEW PRICES AND MAILING STANDARDS

Final mailing standards in support of the May 11 price change for mailing services have been posted on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.com. Also posted in a separate notice are final standards for Intelligent Mail services and Move Update.

Among the revisions:

  • We eliminated the tray-based only preparation requirement for First-Class Mail commercial (automation and nonautomation) flats. Mailers will continue to use the current mail preparation options.
  • We clarified that Standard Mail nonmachinable letters over 3.3 ounces pay nonautomation flats prices.
  • We eliminated separate mailing agent and mail owner Confirm subscription prices. All Confirm subscribers will pay the same subscription price, based on service level.
  • We postponed the Move Update noncompliance charge for Standard Mail until Jan. 4, 2010.

The new prices for mailing services will include a 2-cent increase in a First-Class Mail stamp to 44 cents. You can find all of the new prices, postage statements, downloadable price files and other information to help you prepare for the pricing change at the Postal Service website at usps.com/prices/pricechanges.htm.

For business mailers, especially package mailers, what will the May 11 price change mean to you?

STANDARD MAIL – NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO SAVE

The overall price increase for Standard Mail is 3.78 percent, but varies by product, from just over 1 percent for high density/saturation letters to over 16 percent for parcels and Not Flat-Machinable (NFM) pieces.

There are opportunities to save substantially by work sharing. The further into our network a package is dropped, the lower the price increase — only 4 percent if dropped at the destination delivery unit (DDU) level.

In breaking down the increases based on destination entry location, we are better aligning our prices with the costs necessary to ship the package. If you do more, you save more.

WHAT ELSE HAS CHANGED?

We have revised the price categories and qualifications for irregular parcels and NFM pieces weighing less than 6 ounces.

These changes allow you to reduce the number of containers in a mailing and better align the price categories with efficient processing for parcel-shaped pieces. The changes also provide increased opportunities for mailers, including DDU prices and additional mail volumes that qualify for destination sectional center facility (SCF) and destination bulk mail center (DBMC) prices.

We will not be changing the price categories for machinable parcels and NFM pieces weighing 6 ounces or more. New SCF prices are replacing single 3-digit prices. We also are replacing area distribution center (ADC) and mixed ADC prices with BMC and mixed BMC prices. Origin entry mailings of 200 pounds or more prepared on BMC pallets and entered at origin will be eligible for the BMC prices. Mailings prepared in sacks for entry at origin will be eligible only for our mixed BMC prices. Mailings prepared in sacks with 5-digit, SCF and BMC prices will need to be prepared for and claimed using the DBMC, DSCF and DDU entry prices.

The charge for all non-barcoded parcels and NFMs not prepared in 5-digit/scheme sacks or pallets will increase to 7 cents. This will enable us to offset the costs associated with the extra processing necessary on such shipments.

PACKAGE SERVICES – THE BIG PICTURE

Package Services mail consists of retail Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter (BPM), Library Mail and Media Mail. The overall average increase for Package Services is 3.8 percent. This is well below our competitors’ published ground shipping increase of 5.9 percent. BPM packages will increase more than 2 percent but we've lowered the cost to ship BPM flats by 2 percent to make it more consistent with the Standard Mail catalog pricing because we recognize the value that these items — mostly catalogs — have on a business and how they can help increase your orders and grow your business.

Media Mail and Library Mail — two of our least expensive shipping options — increase by more than 7 percent. This is to better align our costs to process these items and make them more comparable to BPM mail, which has similar characteristics.

NO BMC DESIGNATIONS AND NONMACHINABLE SURCHARGE

USPS is simplifying the pricing structure for retail Parcel Post. Parcel Post is increasing more than 4 percent. We’re replacing the separate price category for inter-BMC/ASF (auxiliary service facility) and intra-BMC/ASF with a single Parcel Post category based on weight and zone.

We also eliminated the Parcel Post nonmachinable surcharge. This change aligns Parcel Post prices and zones with other classes of mail, and makes it simpler for our customers to do business with us.

This change also will be reflected in our shipping services Parcel Select. Parcel Select BMC, OBMC Presort and Parcel Select Barcoded Nonpresort mail will now have the same simplification as retail Parcel Post.

GREAT SERVICE AT GREAT VALUE

We’re simplifying our products and making it easier for our customers to do business with us. This will allow the Postal Service to continue to offer exceptional value and provide record service. At the same time, we're fine-tuning our price incentives to maximize efficiency and save our customers money.

LET’S TALK BUSINESS

NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM DEBUTS SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR

Businesses large and small will find tools for success by attending the National Postal Forum May 17-20 in Washington, DC. For the first time, the forum is offering a special seminar for small-business owners looking to use the mail to grow their business globally.

The special session on Sunday, May 17, will offer “A Small Business Perspective on How to Compete in the Emerging Marketplace.” Small-business owners who attend also can network with other entrepreneurs at the forum’s opening reception and tour the NPF exhibit hall — without having to miss a day of work.The stand-alone seminar is $89.

“The Postal Service understands these are challenging times for all businesses, particularly small business owners,” said Steve Kearney, senior vice president, Customer Relations. “This seminar equips small and mid-size businesses with the tools they need to weather the current economy and achieve long-term business growth.”

Also on May 17 is the kickoff of the PCC Leadership Conference. The opening session of the conference will feature USPS senior management. Five workshops will provide information specifically designed for PCCs, and attendees also can earn a professional certificate.

The forum offers tools and strategies to reach new customers and help grow business for the long term. Learn critical tips for efficiently delivering products into customers’ hands, managing mailing lists and using online tools to design advertising mailpieces with a few clicks of the mouse.

More than 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend this year’s forum. For more information and to register, go to npf.org or call 703-218-5015.

NPF SYMPOSIUMS

FOCUS ON INTELLIGENT MAIL SERVICES AND PACKAGE SHIPPING

This year’s National Postal Forum features symposiums that will help you take advantage of the latest technology and shipping solutions to reduce costs and boost your business.

INTELLIGENT MAIL SYMPOSIUM

Learn all there is to know about Intelligent Mail services. Technological advancements in mail processing and the demand for high visibility throughout this process have led to the implementation of the new Intelligent Mail barcode through basic and full-service options. Adopting the full-service option will give you the lowest level of discount for presorted mail.

This symposium along with related workshops will provide a practical understanding of what’s required for your organization to take advantage of this technology so you can begin to enjoy the best discounts the Postal Service offers.

Choose from two sessions:

Sunday, May 17, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

PACKAGES SYMPOSIUM

Whether you’re shipping across the street or across the globe, this symposium will provide information to help you succeed in package shipping. Top executives will discuss what’s new for package shippers. You’ll hear about the international shipping market and how global thinking can significantly grow your business. You’ll learn how to increase service and visibility while making the most of your shipping dollar. And you’ll get information on how volume and commercial discounts, rebates, customized agreements and other key opportunities can enable your business to reduce costs.

The Packages Symposium will be presented Monday, May 18, in three sessions:

Expedited shipping: 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
International shipping:2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Ground packages:3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Attend all or the session specific to your package needs.

WHAT'S UP

INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR SATURATION MAILERS

USPS has announced its first growth incentive program for saturation mail customers. The program gives credits for annual volume that exceeds the number of mailpieces sent during the previous year.

  • 3.7 cents per piece for regular letters.
  • 2.2 cents per piece for nonprofit letters.
  • 4 cents per piece for regular flats.
  • 2.4 cents per piece for nonprofit flats.

“We’re excited about this important use of pricing flexibility and its potential to stimulate growth, preserve volume and address mailers’ concerns about market economics,” says Steve Kearney, senior vice president of Customer Relations.

To qualify, mailers must be able to demonstrate a two-year history of saturation mail, either nationally or in a specific market. Customers can apply through their local manager of Business Mail Entry. Find a fact sheet and application forms at: http://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=saturationmail or contact any BME office. Deadline for applying is June 11.

BUSINESS MAIL ACCEPTANCE

The Postal Service is revising the allowable tolerance for a Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN) barcode readability verification. Effective May 11, the 80-89 percent threshold for barcode readability verification will be eliminated. When a MERLIN or manual barcode readability verification falls below the 90 percent threshold, additional postage will be assessed based on the difference between the automation prices and the nonautomation prices for the total automation price pieces in the mailing.

USPS also is revising the process for mailers who request an appeal when a mailing processed on MERLIN falls below the acceptable tolerance for barcode readability verification.

For more details, refer to the March 26 issue of Postal Bulletin. Click the link to Postal Bulletins on Postal Explorer at pe.usps.gov.

RESOURCE MAP GUIDES THE WAY

Are you ready to take full advantage of Intelligent Mail services? A good place to start is the resource map to Intelligent Mail documents on the RIBBS website at ribbs.usps.gov. It lists and describes an array of Intelligent Mail guides, specifications and manuals, including an overview that provides fundamental information on the benefits of Intelligent Mail services, such as the ability to uniquely track each piece of mail in a mailing. Mailer requirements for using the services, the two service-level options, how to get started and where to find additional resources also are explained.

FYI...

This year's National Postal Forum will include new peer-to-peer roundtables on May 19. Discussions will explore a wide range of subjects, including Periodicals, Intelligent Mail, PCC issues and more. You must pre-register at npf.org.

Inside Scoop: USPS has earned eight consecutive EPA Waste Wise Program Partner of the Year awards.

KEEPING POSTED

2009

  • Direct mail webinar, “Mailpiece Design,” April 29, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Sign up at usps.com/directmailonline.
  • The 2009 National Postal Forum will be held May 17-20 in Washington, DC. Check the NPF website at npf.org for more information.
  • National PCC Day is scheduled for Sept. 16 in New York City.

INFO@USPS

YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES

U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
Back issues: PCC Insider online archive

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

DPMG Pat Donahoe at Ohio State University football stadium Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe at The Ohio State University football stadium.

BEST OF THE BUCKEYES

Start with The Ohio State University stadium as the setting. Feature presentations from local industry leaders and top USPS executives, including Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Donahoe. Add vendors, state-of-the-art mailing equipment and networking opportunities. And wrap it up with a tour of the OSU stadium. It all adds up to a successful event for the Central Ohio PCC.

“Our customers and vendors were so impressed with the venue, networking opportunities and speakers, they asked us to sponsor an event of this caliber every year,” says Robin Ware, postal co-chair. The Education and Technology Symposium was attended by more than 200 business mailers.

Industry speakers discussed their relationships with the Postal Service and their successes in using USPS products and services. USPS representatives provided information about Intelligent Mail services, pricing and designing mailpieces to manage costs. Donahoe focused on the state of the Postal Service and talked about cost-cutting initiatives taken by the organization as it adjusts to the current economic climate.

“The Central Ohio Postal Customer Council consistently raises the bar in offering better programs and educational experiences to its mailing community,” says Ware.

Learn more about this PCC at http://www.copcc.com.

© 2009 United States Postal Service. The following are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: USPS®, U.S. Postal Service®, United States Postal Service®, Postal Service™, Post Office™, Priority Mail®, Express Mail®, Standard Mail™, First-Class Mail®, Registered Mail™, Certified Mail™, RIBBS™, Delivery Confirmation™, Signature Confirmation™, ZIP Code™, Click-N-Ship®, NetPost®, Intelligent Mail® and The Postal Store®. This list is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service marks. See our privacy policies at usps.com. If you prefer not to receive future e-mail communications from the Postal Service, contact PCC Insider to stop future e-mails. Write us at: PCC Insider, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza Rm 2P546, Washington DC 20260-0546



Powered By OneLink