Address List Quality

Working together, the Postal Service and mailing industry experts upgraded Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) processing software to improve the accuracy of addressing and sorting data in mailing lists. The provision of Delivery Point Validation as a quality tool continued to improve address quality. Data compiled about the accuracy of mailer address information showed a 2.5 percent improvement over the past year. Customers can correct non-validated addresses using Address Element Correction (AEC) software or its enhancement, AEC II, which sends unresolved addresses to delivery offices for resolution.

NCOALink allows mailers to match their mailing lists against postal-maintained address change data. If a match is made during processing of a mailpiece and an outdated address is in the NCOALink file, the software provides the new address (or undeliverable status), allowing the mailer to update the mailing list. The 85 billion addresses processed by NCOALink this year represents a 13.9 percent increase.

The Postal Service completed piloting a new system to provide its address products to subscribers electronically. Besides allowing for more rapid address updates, full deployment of electronic fulfillment in 2011 will eliminate the cost of producing and mailing updates.

FASTforward is postal-licensed automated system that compares addresses on live mailpieces with change-of-address orders on file as the mail is processed. If a match occurs, the new address is sprayed on the piece so it can be sorted and delivered to the new address rather than forwarded from the old address. The number of pieces processed on FASTforward increased by 8.9 percent (507 million pieces). Because the FASTforward hardware is beyond end-of-life and replacement parts are no longer available, the system will be retired on June 30, 2012, using a phased approach that began in 2009. Existing customers will continue to receive data until the specified retirement date or until they migrate to another system, whichever comes first. To assist customers, a list of certified software developers who provide an alternative solution for FASTforward is available on the RIBBS Web site.

The Postal Service continued to increase the value of address correction services provided using the IMb. Address Change Service (ACS), consisting of traditional ACS, OneCode ACS, and Full-Service ACS, saw a 13 percent increase in records to customers. This includes new volume of 18.5 million records in Full-Service and an increase of 20 million records in OneCode ACS. Shipper Paid Forwarding (SPF) is an ACS service that allows shippers to pay forwarding charges if the recipient has moved. Until this year, the mailer was required to have parcels returned. Change Service Requested for SPF has been tested for release in 2011, allowing for the collection of forwarding postage for parcels. This minimizes the need to handle parcels being returned as “refused” or because of other addressing issues.

Under Move Update standards, address records used for all Standard Mail and commercial First-Class Mail mailings must incorporate address changes that occurred within 95 days prior to the mailing date. Customers have several options to meet the standards, including NCOALink, FASTforward (a commercial MLOCR software application), ACS and OneCode ACS, and ancillary service endorsements without ACS. This information is contained in the revised Guide to Move Update posted online at