Since it impacts all of our clients, the first topic to discuss is the rate increase. The USPS has been increasing the cost of postage every six months, and there is no indication the trend will stop anytime soon.
You can visit the USPS website to read more about the rate increase. Also, a PDF containing all the new rates is available for download from the postal service website. The table below shows how the new rates compare to the current rates.
|Letters (metered 1 oz.)
|5-Digit Automation letters
|5-Digit Automation postcards
The second update only involves our AutoMail mailing software clients at this time.
The USPS is removing the requirement to place a Service Endorsement on the outside of the envelope. Examples of service endorsements are “Address Service Requested”, “Return Service Requested”, etc. This update moves the service endorsement information into the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB), which allows the USPS to read the service type with more accuracy.
By moving the Service Type Identification within the IMB along with removal of the Keyline and Optional Endorsement Line (OEL), the envelope will appear less cluttered.
For a certain period, if your mail is submitted with an invalid STID the USPS will alert you to the error.
After July 9th, if the STIDs are not updated in the AutoMail software, the existing STID will be considered invalid, and a warning will be displayed. This warning will not stop processing at this time.
If the existing STIDs are removed and the fields are left blank without a new, valid option entered, a warning will be displayed and AutoMail will not build IMB barcodes for the mailpieces.
Below is a screenshot of the first-class mail STID Table.
To determine which STID you use, you will need to answer the following questions:
1) In AutoMail, are you using the Intelligent Mail Service Type “Full Service” or “Basic Service”?
- If you are using “Full Service” you will use the Full Service ACS options for your Automated Service ID.
- If you are using “Basic Service” you will use the OneCode ACS options for both your Automated Service ID and the Non-Automated Service ID.
2) Are you sending your mail using Return Service Requested or Address Service Requested as the endorsement printed on the envelope?
- You will use that option from your table choice above.
3) If you choose Address Service Requested you will have 2 options.
- Option 1 – if the mail is Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) the USPS will forward your mail to an address they have on file for 18 months. After that time if the address is not corrected the mail will be returned to the sender.
- Option 2 – if the mail is UAA the USPS will forward your mail to an address they have on file for 18 months. After that time if the address is not corrected the mail will be destroyed.
4) Are you using IV.MTR (Informed Visibility Mail Tracking & Reporting)?
- This is typically a third-party option for displaying tracking information such as HC3/AutoMail’s option Mailstream Navigator or Track My Mail. Depending on your answer you make your choice from your table choice above.
Below is a screenshot of what you will see as you are going through this process:
Please take note – If you are using Full Service, these selections will give you only the correct option for your Automated Service ID. For the Non-Automated Service ID you will use the corresponding OneCode ACS option. The USPS will continue to allow the Manual Correction options if you choose to continue placing the Service Endorsement on the outside of your envelope.