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28 July 2011 Postal Bulletin – Label List changes

Wow. After quite a stretch of Label List changes where the documentation of the changes wasn’t really public until days later, with no hint that anything changed, this month we get a little treat and have the changes actually published BEFORE they will even be available for use! The preliminary schedule for Label List changes had said these would be published in the _next_ Postal Bulletin, so it’s a nice surprise to receive them now, since this provides a convenient spot to look up any labeling things that might be questioned in a mailing. For example, if you enter a mailing on Aug. 2 with an SCF pallet for Sioux City IA, that SCF won’t appear in the online Label List and it will look like those ZIPs should be going to Sioux Falls, SD; but this Bulletin shows that was a change effective Aug. 1 and is not required until October 15.

The changes for Media Mail and Library Mail seem like what we developers would call a “refactoring.” Much of the language for these two types of Package Services mail were obviously very similar, so similar that Postalsoft Presort uses a single set of sorting schemes for the two types. No DMM language is provided here, just a description of the changes, but it sounds as though any area that was different before between the two remains different, just the separate copies of the text for Library Mail (i.e. sections 180, 380, and 480) are removed.

But now after happily noting the early publication of the Label List changes, we see this item about realignment of ZIPs between the Memphis and Dallas NDCs. Uh-oh.

This appears to have been an oversight on the part of the USPS when they published Label List changes in June. At that time, the ZIP ranges served by these facilities were updated, BUT the eligibility tables were not. OK, we’re thinking, so if you use MailDirShow to generate a Dallas NDC entry point the ZIP range may be off – just update the ranges, right? Well…maybe not quite that simple. Although I have not tested this yet, it sounds like the _eligibility_ to receive discounts is in that same data, which Presort uses to determine whether pieces going to an entry point should get discount or not. So even if the new ZIPs are set up in Presort for the entry point, I suspect Presort won’t give discounts to that mail because it won’t show up as eligible until we get these directories updated. In some cases you may be able to work around this by using the discount “override” option, but that’s not always desirable, either.

Now, we will certainly work to have these changes in our August directory updates, but they are typically not ready until close to the middle of the month which doesn’t leave much time if you have a mailing being prepared for late August entry. If we find out any more about this one, I will post comments about what we find.

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