Contents Index

G000 The USPS and Mailing Standards

G030 Postal Zones

Summary

G030 describes how zones are used to compute postage for zoned mail. It also defines local and nonlocal zones.

1.0 Basic Information

1.1Basis

Postal rates for certain subclasses of mail are based on the weight of the individual piece and the distance that the piece travels from origin to destination (i.e., the number of postal zones crossed). For the administration of these postal zones, the earth is divided into units of area 30 minutes square, identical with a quarter of the area formed by the intersecting parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. Postal zones are based on the distance between these units of area. The distance is measured from the center of the unit of area containing the SCF serving the origin post office to the SCF serving the destination post office. The SCFs serving the origin and destination post offices are determined by using L005, Column B.

1.2Application

Zones are used to compute postage on zoned mail sent between USPS facilities, including military post offices (MPOs), as follows:

a. For the purposes of computing postal zone information, except for items 1.2b and 1.2c, the following table applies to MPOs not listed in L005.

3-Digit ZIP Code Prefix Group SCF Serving the Destination Office
090-098 SCF New York NY 100
340 SCF Miami FL 331
962-966 SCF San Francisco CA 940

b. The postage rates for zoned mail transported between the United States, the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories or possessions, including the Trust Territory of the Pacific on the one hand, and MPOs on the other, or, among the MPOs, are the applicable zone rates for mail between the place of mailing or delivery and the city of the postmaster serving the MPO concerned.

c. The postage rate for zoned mail mailed at or addressed to an MPO and transported directly to or from MPOs at Department of Defense expense, without transiting any of the 48 contiguous states (including the District of Columbia), is the applicable local zone rate. If such mail transits any area served by the USPS at USPS expense and the distance from the place of mailing to the embarkation point or from the debarkation point to the place of delivery is more than the local zone for such mail, postage is assessed by the distance from the place of mailing to the embarkation point or from the debarkation point to the place of delivery of such mail, as the case may be. The word transiting does not include en route transfers at coastal gateway cities necessary to transport military mail directly between MPOs. For example, a parcel mailed at Honolulu, HI, for direct dispatch by the Department of Defense from Honolulu to an MPO in the Pacific is subject to the local zone rate. A parcel mailed at Hilo, HI, and transported at USPS expense to Honolulu, HI, for direct dispatch at Department of Defense expense from Honolulu to an MPO in Japan is subject to zone 2 rates.

1.3Zone Charts

The USPS Official National Zone Chart Data Program is administered from the National Customer Support Center (NCSC) in Memphis, TN. Single-page zone charts for originating mail are available at no cost from local post offices or online at http://pe.usps.gov. Zone chart data for the entire nation can be purchased in print and CD-ROM formats. For more information or to purchase zone charts, call the Zone Chart program administrator at 800-238-3150 or write to the NCSC (see G043 for address).

2.0 Specific Zones

2.1Local Zone

The local zone applies to mail deposited at any post office for delivery to addresses within the delivery area of that post office. For various types of post offices, the local zone applies to all mail that both originates and destinates within:

a. The 5-digit ZIP Code area(s) assigned to the same post office.

b. Any of the 5-digit ZIP Codes that are part of any unique 3-digit ZIP Code prefix(es) or other separate 5-digit ZIP Code(s), as applicable, assigned to the same post office.

2.2Nonlocal Zones

Nonlocal zones are defined as follows:

a. The zone 1 rate applies to pieces not eligible for the local zone in 2.1 that are mailed between two post offices with the same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix identified in L005, Column A. Zone 1 includes all units of area outside the local zone lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 50 miles from the center of the area.

b. Zone 2 includes all units of area outside zone 1 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 150 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

c. Zone 3 includes all units of area outside zone 2 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 300 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

d. Zone 4 includes all units of area outside zone 3 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 600 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

e. Zone 5 includes all units of area outside zone 4 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 1,000 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

f. Zone 6 includes all units of area outside zone 5 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 1,400 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

g. Zone 7 includes all units of area outside zone 6 lying in whole or in part within a radius of about 1,800 miles from the center of a given unit of area.

h. Zone 8 includes all units of area outside zone 7.

2.3SCF

The sectional center facility (SCF) rate applies to mail originating and destinating within the service area of the same SCF as defined by the USPS.

2.4Delivery Unit (Office)

The delivery unit rate applies to mail destinating within the delivery area of the delivery unit at which it is deposited by the mailer.

DMM Issue 58 Updated 12-9-04