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January 2013


2013 NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM IN SAN FRANCISCO

This year’s National Postal Forum PCC Opening Session will feature members of the USPS Executive Leadership Team.

An interactive mini-survey with real-time results available will be another feature for attendees. PCC members also will have an opportunity to share ideas during two Peer-to-Peer sessions that follow. These sessions are open to all members.

Some of the workshops being offered at this year’s National Postal Forum are:

Backstage with the Postal Customer Council Advisory Committee

The Postal Customer Council Advisory Committee (PCCAC) plays a critical role in supporting the local PCC organizations. This workshop will introduce you to the PCCAC members as they share strategies and best practices to support you in areas such as communication, education, membership and networking. Share your ideas and suggestions as you interact with the PCCAC panel so together we can foster an environment that allows your PCC to grow. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get involved!

Show Your Return On Investment (ROI) Through Your PCC

PCC membership entitles you to more than you think! The value of learning what's happening within the Postal Service and how it affects you as a mailer can’t be overestimated. Investing in your PCC can also create goodwill, show you as an industry expert, and generate sales for mail service providers. Learn how two mailers parlayed their PCC involvement into regional and national opportunities for their companies. Learn to generate an ROI for your PCC activities. Find out how to prove that the investment of time (and resources) needed for successful PCC membership directly contributes to a business's success.

Creating a Signature PCC Event

If your PCC is interested in hosting a signature event with speakers, workshops and vendor exhibits, but you have no idea where to begin, then this is for you. Come hear from members of the award-winning Twin Cities PCC on how they create, develop and successfully run a full-fledged "mini-Forum" complete with educational certificates, a vendor exhibit area and keynote speakers. The presenters will take you step-by-step through the planning process and leave you with the tools and knowledge which you can take back to your own PCC and begin the plans for your own signature event.

Check out the 2013 NPF Promotional Catalog available online with all the details needed to plan your Forum experience in San Francisco, March 17–20.

For more information about the 2013 Forum, including how to register, visit npf.org.

USPS CHANGES PRICES JAN. 27

Effective Jan. 27, new prices went into effect for some USPS products and services.

The new prices for First-Class Mail and service pricing include:

  • First-Class Mail, 1 ounce: 46 cents
  • First-Class Mail postcard: 33 cents
  • Stamped postcards: 37 cents
  • Electronic Return Receipt: $1.25.
  • Certificate of mailing: $1.20

New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products:

  • Small box: $5.80
  • Medium box: $12.35
  • Large box: $16.85
  • Large APO/FPO box: $14.85
  • Regular envelope: $5.60
  • Legal envelope: $5.75
  • Padded envelope: $5.95

Other changes include a new offering — a First-Class Mail Global Forever stamp that will allow customers to mail letters up to 2 ounces to Canada and up to 1 ounce anywhere else in the world for a set price of $1.10. Lower prices for Priority Mail and other types of expedited products are available if purchased online.

A complete list of new prices with additional information is available here.

STANDARD POST DEBUTS

In fiscal year 2011, USPS moved 2.148 billion packages — a number that continues to increase as more and more consumers shop online.

According to New Products and Innovation VP Gary Reblin, “The Postal Service is committed to identifying eCommerce growth opportunities to further strengthen its shipping business.”

And, there are USPS products to do just that. Parcel Post has been renamed Standard Post, effective Jan. 27, and transferred to the competitive product category. While service standards are the same, Standard Post packages now receive USPS Tracking at no additional charge.

This is a new chapter in the history of Parcel Post, which recently celebrated its centennial anniversary. It was at midnight Jan. 1, 1913, that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock and New York Postmaster Edward Morgan shipped packages addressed to each other, racing to be the first American to use the fledgling service.

Now, 100 years later, with a focus on its future in the rapidly expanding package delivery arena, USPS is transitioning Parcel Post service for the future as well, under its new title — Standard Post.

GLOBAL FIRST

Sending international First-Class Mail has become more convenient, thanks to the Postal Service’s first international Forever stamp. The Global Forever stamp allows customers to send First-Class Mail International weighing up to 1 ounce anywhere in the world for $1.10. The stamp also can be used to mail letters weighing up to 2 ounces to Canada.

Just like domestic Forever stamps, the Global Forever stamp remains valid even with any future changes in the price of First-Class Mail International.

The stamp features an image of the Earth created with a composite of images from satellite and 3D computer technology data. It’s available in panes of 20.

Customers may purchase the stamp at usps.com/stamps, by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

POSTNET DEADLINE

Mail using the POSTNET barcode — including letter-size and flat-size mail pieces, postcards, Permit Reply Mail and Qualified Business Reply Mail — no longer qualifies for automation discounts.

Customers who switch to the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), will continue to benefit from automation prices and also will build a foundation to participate in the Intelligent Full-Service option. Full-Service provides the lowest automation discount price, address correction and greater visibility into your mailings.

Intelligent Mail is the technology platform for the next generation of mailing services, features and products. With the IMb, you will have end-to-end visibility in the mailstream and more information about the mail — information you can use to make informed marketing, financial and operational decisions. Intelligent Mail also will give you opportunities to develop new products and services.

For more information about the IMb, contact your Business Mail Entry Unit.

IMPROVEMENTS IN USPS MOBILE APP

The Postal Service has added new functionality to the popular PO Locator feature on the USPS Mobile App for customers with Android, Blackberry and iPhone smartphones to find Postal Provider and pickup locations.

The updated PO Locator also includes a search function to find specific postal locations with passport and other services.

The enhancements add to the app’s list of functions that allow customers to track and confirm a shipment, calculate shipping prices, scan shipping labels and QR codes, schedule next day pickups, order mailing supplies, put mail on hold and look up ZIP codes.

IMPROVEMENTS SPEED HANDLING OF INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS

USPS has introduced a new version of the Customs Border Protection Manifesting System (CBPMAN) application.

The new application includes improvements designed to reduce customer wait and retail transaction times by making the process to complete customs forms more efficient.

The display on the new application will appear similar to custom declaration forms 2976 and 2976-A, depending which form barcode is scanned.

Other enhancements include:

  • A blue highlighted area indicates where on the customs form to locate required information for the next entry field.
  • Alert messages remind users of required items that must be entered.
  • Content values are totaled as items are added.
  • The Content Type drop-down menu features additional choices to match dangerous goods and allows the user to select multiple choices if necessary.
  • A link to the CBPMAN user guide provides easy access to instructions.

All Express Mail International, Priority Mail International and First-Class Mail International – parcel shipments requiring a customs form must be entered into CBPMAN either through a POS terminal or an ACE computer.

PREMIUM FORWARDING SERVICE

With the Postal Service’s Premium Forwarding Service (PFS), customers can continue receiving their mail while they’re away from home and living at temporary residences anywhere in the U.S.

Customers can use PFS from 15 days to 1 year. For a one-time enrollment fee and an additional weekly flat fee, USPS packages and reships the mail by Priority Mail once each week.

You can enroll online at usps.com or at your local Post Office. If you enroll online, you also can update or pay for PFS online.

If you apply for PFS at a Post Office, you must provide two forms of ID and evidence of residence at the primary address listed in the application. If you enroll at a Post Office, you also must pay for and update the PFS service at the same Post Office.

USPS usually reships bundled PFS mail on Wednesdays. However, Express Mail items are forwarded without delay. USPS reroutes separately and at no extra cost First-Class Mail items that don’t fit in a weekly PFS shipment.

The enrollment fee for PFS is $15, and the weekly shipment fee is $17.

EASIER TO JUST CLICK — AND SHIP

The Postal Service’s Click-N-Ship for Business desktop application has been enhanced to make online shipping even easier and more convenient.

All price, product and classification changes effective with the Jan. 27, 2013 price adjustment were automatically updated in the application.

And you now can input mailing address and other information to generate new, integrated, 4-by-6-inch International labels/Customs Forms for Express Mail International and Priority Mail International shipments.

Another feature updates legacy barcodes to Intelligent Mail package barcodes (IMpb) for all domestic shipping, APO/FPO/DPO and PTFAS (Possessions, Territories, and Freely Associated States), eMIR and Open and Distribute labels.

BEST PRACTICES
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

In 2013, PCC Insider will highlight some of the best practices of PCCs nationwide to help grow their members’ businesses and keep up with the changing market. The Washington Metro PCC (WMPCC) is featured in this issue — the second featured best practice in this new series.

The WMPCC recognizes the importance of continuing education to keep members informed of mailing industry changes so they can compete in a rapidly changing environment and grow their businesses.

The council’s board decided it would allow companies to send representatives to select and essential educational offerings — without charge — to acquire knowledge and maintain interest in the WMPCC and its essential role.

As a result, membership levels have remained stable and more importantly, members are better informed. And that saves money in the long run by improving efficiency, especially in interactions with USPS Processing and Business Mail Acceptance.

WMPCC strengthened its brand loyalty by building service and trust with its customer base. It anticipates that as the economy improves, there will be an increase in membership by member count — not necessarily organizational count due to some company changes and mergers.

For more information on WMPCC, go to the chapter website at www.wmpcc.com.


KEEPING POSTED

Mar. 17-20, 2013 National Postal Forum, Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA Sept. 16-20, 2013 PCC Week 2013

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 email to pccinsider@usps.gov
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