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MARCH 2010





Mailers who attend this year’s National Postal Forum April 11-14 in Nashville, TN, will hear firsthand about the Postal Service’s new action plan for the future. The NPF keynote address will feature Postmaster General John Potter, and special sessions led by USPS management will provide an in-depth look at the 10-year plan as well as other key topics, including five-day delivery, postal finance, business mail acceptance and Intelligent Mail services.

And, you can still save on your NPF registration. Early-bird registration, a $50 savings, has been extended until Wednesday, March 17. Don’t delay — register at

In addition to dozens of special sessions and workshops, peer-to-peer roundtables are back at this year’s NPF. They’re scheduled for April 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. These roundtables provide participants an opportunity to discuss a variety of topics. Attendees must pre-register through the NPF website. The roundtables were offered for the first time at the 2009 Forum and proved popular. Several topics — including Intelligent Mail, Postal Customer Council and Colleges and Universities — booked up quickly.

Envisioning America’s Future Postal Service
The Postal Service has announced an action plan that calls for greater business model flexibility and changes in the way USPS does business. At this session, Postal Service leaders will discuss what changes customers can expect.

Future Business Model of the U.S. Postal Service
This workshop with postal leaders will focus on answering questions regarding the future business model of the Postal Service and the options considered during the development of its action plan.

Intelligent Mail Technical Workshop
The Intelligent Mail barcode provides high visibility of mailings as they travel through the postal network. The workshop will explain the differences between the Basic and Full Service options and how mailers can maximize their return on investment.

Plant-Verified Drop Shipments in 2010
The Postal Service is focusing on consistent adherence to policies and procedures for Business Mail Acceptance and Plant-Verified Drop Shipments. This session will provide tips for a smoother transaction with USPS.

USPS Financial Update
Postal Service Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett will discuss the economy and the current financial state of the Postal Service and the mailing industry.

Exploring Five-Day Delivery
What would five-day delivery mean to you? This session explores the Postal Service proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery, a step that would address the growing gap between costs and revenues and help USPS adjust to reductions in mail volume.

Evolving Communications: Opportunity Knocks for the Postal Service — How the Postal Inspection Service will Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges
Chief Postal Inspector William Gilligan will discuss efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, including in the areas of identity theft and corporate, consumer and business fraud.

Wonderful World of Expedited Shipping
This overview will give participants an opportunity to hear about new services, new pricing incentives and enhancements planned for the Postal Service's line of expedited shipping offerings.

2010 Summer Sale and Future Price Incentives
Learn about the proposed 2010 Summer Sale for Standard Mail letters and flats. Hear how the Postal Service wants to offer customers incentives to use mail to help grow their business. Get the latest thinking from USPS business managers on future pricing incentives to leverage the value of mail and grow mail volume.

For more information, visit



The Postal Service is planning to do it again: launch a summer sale.

The 2010 Summer Sale is scheduled to run July 1 through Sept. 30 and will provide a 30 percent rebate to eligible mailers on Standard Mail letters and flats volume above a predetermined threshold. In mid-March, eligible customers will be mailed an invitation letter inviting them to apply to participate in the program.

“Direct mail works, and our customers know that,” says Robert Bernstock, president, Mailing and Shipping Services. “That’s why we will continue to invest in programs that promote the health of our customers’ businesses as well as our own. We very much appreciate our customers’ business, and we will compete aggressively for their advertising and promotion dollars in this highly competitive marketplace.”

To be eligible to participate in the 2010 Summer Sale, a company must have mailed 350,000 or more Standard Mail letters and flats between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2009.

The 2010 Standard Mail Summer Sale is under review by the Postal Regulatory Commission. A response from the PRC is expected in mid-April.



With more than 7 billion pieces of mail processed and $2 billion in revenue generated for the Postal Service, the Intelligent Mail Full Service program has been a success story for business mailers too, says Thomas Day, senior vice president, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality.

“Early adopters of Intelligent Mail Full Service have one thing in common — they worked closely with all stakeholders in their mail supply chains and developed Full Service project plans,” he says.

To date, there are 300 business mailers participating in Intelligent Mail Full Service, which provides start-the-clock and free address correction service (ACS) information.

“The publishing industry is a big fan of free ACS,” says Pritha Mehra, vice president, Business Mail Entry and Payment Technologies. “Many of them are on target to save millions of dollars a year. Considering the savings from free ACS as well as the postage discount for participating in Full Service, the return on investment can be very high.”

For mailers who are still thinking about signing on to the program, Mehra has these tips:

  • Talk to colleagues who generate the mail in your organization to determine the return on investment of Full Service price discounts and free ACS.

  • Work closely with your mail service providers, including equipment manufacturers and software vendors, to determine their capabilities, such as the ability to print the Intelligent Mail barcode.

  • Make sure your mailing software is capable of submitting postage statements and other supporting documentation electronically through the PostalOne! system. (Mailers are encouraged to use one of three electronic options: Postal Wizard, Mail.dat or Mail.XML.)

  • When developing solutions with your mail supply chain, determine how barcodes will be created. Will you use your own Mailer ID or that of the mail owner? How will you ensure uniqueness of the barcodes? (A unique barcode on each mail container, for example, enables it to be scanned for “start-the-clock” when it’s inducted into the Postal Service network. Also, a unique barcode on each piece of mail enables tracking of that piece.)

For more information about Intelligent Mail Full Service, visit



An updated version of a drop-shipment checklist for customers is now available online. It’s a helpful guide to completing paperwork for business mail plant-verified drop shipments. The checklist is posted on the RIBBS website at: tech_guides/DropChecklist.pdf. This version clarifies what fields on the PS Form 8125 may be altered, and specifically when a FAST Scheduler ID needs to be included.


The Postal Service has filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to change the designation of some Post Office Boxes from monopoly to competitive designation — a move to allow greater flexibility to meet the needs of customers.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 split Postal Service products and services into two categories, market dominant (monopoly) and competitive. Those products and services for which other providers compete with the Postal Service were categorized as competitive. PO Boxes currently are listed as market dominant and are subject to a price cap based on the rate of inflation.

The filing seeks to move about 32,000 PO Boxes in 49 Post Offices from the current market dominant classification into the competitive class of products. This will allow the Postal Service to test consumer interest in enhancements to the current PO Box offering and will help shape future PO Box service and access strategies. Less than one half of 1 percent of all PO Box service would be affected. There are more than 13 million PO Boxes in more than 30,000 Post Offices across the country.


Two workshops — Business Customer Gateway and Best Kept Secrets of the NCSC — are under development and will be distributed for use on National PCC Day, Sept. 15. Plan now to incorporate these two workshops into your educational activities for the day. Webinars to help local presenters become familiar with the workshops will be announced at a later date.

Inside Scoop. USPS processed 43.8 million address changes in 2009.



  • National Postal Forum, April 11-14, Nashville, TN. For information, go to

  • National PCC Day, Sept. 15.



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USPS booth at Reverse Logistics Association tradeshow in Las Vegas.
USPS booth at Reverse Logistics Association tradeshow in Las Vegas.

The Postal Service was center stage at a recent convention in Las Vegas on reverse logistics — business operations related to the re-use of products and materials.

Dan Barrett, manager, Sales and Market Development in Ground Shipping, was one of three presenters at a session titled “New Solutions for Reverse Logistics.” He also chaired a panel exploring asset recovery and recycling through the mail.

Barrett urged his audience at the Reverse Logistics Association tradeshow to consider the benefits of using the Postal Service to return products for recycling, and he highlighted the Postal Service's unmatched capabilities to provide consumers with convenient, low-cost returns options.

“When it comes to returns, convenience is key,” Barrett said. “With 290,000 letter carriers at every door, every day, the Postal Service offers the most convenient and cost-effective solutions for the consumer. The consumer doesn't even need to leave the house.”

In addition to the panel, USPS also was a major exhibitor at the convention, with impressive results — it received an award for the show’s best overall booth.
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