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November 12, 2009
Intelligent Mail Services Update
PostalOne!® and FAST® Outages: PostalOne! Release 22.0 will be implemented on Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 p.m. CST through Sunday, November 15 at 10:00 a.m. CST for PostalOne! Production. The outage for PostalOne! Production will be approximately 12 hours. During this outage, the PostalOne! application will not be available. PostalOne! Release 22.0 will be migrated to the PostalOne! Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) on Sunday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. CST. The outage for PostalOne! TEM will be approximately eight hours. During this outage, the PostalOne! TEM environment will not be available.
FAST Release 13.1.0 will be deployed Sunday, November 15 from 4:00 a.m. CT through 8:00 a.m. CT for FAST Production. The outage for FAST Production will be approximately four hours. FAST Release 13.1.0 will be migrated to the FAST TEM on Sunday, November 15 from 8:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. CST.
New Barcode Readability Standards: Working through the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), the Postal Service™ and the mailing industry have agreed to set an 80% threshold for barcode readability verifications for letter and flat mailings using the Intelligent Mail barcodes. This change is effective on November 30, 2009. The threshold since July 2009 was 70%. Mailings that are verified and that have a barcode readability score of below 80% will not be eligible for automation or Full-Service prices. Further agreement was reached to revise the barcode readability verification threshold to 90% effective March 15, 2010.
Similar to the POSTNET barcode, mailers are achieving very good readability scores on MERLIN® for Intelligent Mail barcodes. MERLIN scores for the period October 3, 2009 to November 2, 2009 are reflected below and will be posted on ribbs.usps.gov. Monthly updates on MERLIN readability scores will be posted on RIBBS.
Barcode Type Percentage of Mailing achieving 90% and over
POSTNET Letters 95%
Intelligent Mail Barcode Letter 96%
POSTNET Flats 94%
Intelligent Mail Barcode Flats 93%
Barcode readability verifications are routinely performed on automation price mailings using the Mail Evaluation Readability and Lookup Instrument (MERLIN). Samples from the mailing are processed on MERLIN and evaluated for mail preparation including presort and barcode readability quality. Based on verification results additional postage may be calculated. Mailers may elect to pay additional postage or withdraw a mailing that fails verification standards.
Submitting Postage Statements between November 15 and November 29, 2009: On November 15, the Postal Service will deploy software to support Full-Service prices. These new prices will apply starting November 29. Postage statements have been modified to support Full-Service and other changes. Starting November 15, the Postage Statements generated from Full-Service Electronic Mailing Information using Mail.dat, mail.XML, or the Postal Wizard will include a line for the number of pieces claiming the Full-Service prices. The price cell will be set to zero (0) between the dates of November 15 through November 28.
The Full-Service Intelligent Mail prices will be available on Sunday, November 29, 2009. At this time Postage Statements generated from Full-Service Electronic Mailing Information using Mail.dat, Mail.XML, or the Postal Wizard will include the Full-Service prices for the pieces claimed using Full-Service. Non-Full-Service mailings may be submitted using the November 2009 Postage Statements on November 15 or using the current postage statements as follows:
· PS Forms 3602-R and 3602-N: The July 19, 2009 versions may be used until January 4, 2010 when the November 29, 2009 versions must be used.
· For all other postage statements, the May 11, 2009 versions may be used until January 4, 2010 when the November 29, 2009 versions must be used.
Authorized Manifest Mailing System mailers will follow the same schedule.
Plant-Verified Drop Shipment (PVDS) Mailings between November 15 and November 29, 2009: Mailers submitting Full-Service PVDS mailings on or after November 29 can submit the electronic documentation for those mailings after November 15 in non-ready to pay status. Mailers can only send electronic ready to pay status for Full-Service PVDS mailings on or after November 29.
November 2009 postage statements can be accessed at usps.com/forms.
Release 22.0 Update: