USPS Update: New Service Standards

USPS Network Rationalization Phases

The Postal Service is moving ahead with the rationalization of its network. The implementation will be executed by modifying service standards in two phases. The first phase will begin July 1, 2012, and the second phase will start on February 1, 2014. Should changes in circumstances warrant, this phased approach will allow the Postal Service to reconsider implementation of the second phase.

When planning your mailing program, how often do you ask “How long will it take my mailpiece to hit the recipient’s mailbox?” 

You must make a choice whether to mail First Class or Standard. Of course, there are rules and limitations to what material can be mailed for either class so that will be a factor in driving your decision.

First Class Mail – any mailable matter can be sent as First Class Mail. Below are types of mail that must be sent as First Class mail.

  • All matter wholly or partly in writing or typewriting
  • All actual and personal correspondence
  • All bills and statements of account
  • All matter sealed or otherwise closed against inspection

Standard Mail – includes the subclasses of regular Standard Mail, Nonprofit Standard Mail, Carrier Route Standard Mail and Nonprofit Carrier Route Standard Mail.

  • Circulars
  • Pamphlets
  • Catalogs
  • Newsletters
  • Direct Mail
  • Merchandise

Let’s say your mail piece is informational in nature and contains no confidential data. You could either mail it First Class or Standard Mail. Let’s go further and say that there is dated information (perhaps an invitation to an event or notice of road construction). Now your mail class decision lies in deliverability.

Taking advantage of the lower postage rates for Standard Mail is a great idea if you plan well enough in advance to account for the slower delivery service standard.

The USPS RIBBS website (Rapid Information Bulletin Board – always good information here, folks!) just published Service Standards Maps for all classes of mail at all points of entry.

These are the new Service Standards effective July 1, 2012 (the beginning of Phase 1 of the USPS network rationalization).

It’s easy to use – simply choose your class of mail and your SCF area (first three digits of your ZIP code) and away you go.

Below are examples generated for my SCF area of 641

First ClassStandard Mail

Plan ahead, review your Service Standards and save a few dollars of your marketing budget!


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    • #2 by strahmautomation on June 11, 2012 - 8:53 am

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