U.S. Postal Service delays implementation of Intelligent Mail barcode technology

December 6, 2013

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) requested that the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approve the agency's request to increase the price of stamps, but was approved to increase the price of First Class Mail, Standard Mail and Periodical mailings, Post and Parcel reported.

Although these changes are slated to begin January 26, 2014, the USPS was looking into another change: widespread implementation of Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) technology for business mailers on the same day. However, because the PRC already approved an uptick of prices for other services within the andparcel.info/59066/news/companies/regulator-approves-inflation-based-usps-rate-increase/” target=”_blank”>rate of inflation, about 1.696 percent, this motion was denied.

"This ill-conceived decision will impair complete adoption of Full-Service IMb and hinder the Postal Service's ability to promote a technology that enhances the value of mail, which is critical to the development of next-generation digital products and services," the USPS said in its release.

The PRC argued that requiring businesses to enroll in the full-service IMb program to receive discounts would ultimately increase the service from 4.1 percent to 4.9 percent for Standard and First Class Mail, Post and Parcel explained.

PRC gave the USPS two options: raise the rates of services at a lower percentage to account for full-service IMb requirements or continue with the intended pay raise without the IMb requirement.

"Due to the PRC ruling, the Postal Service is delaying the Jan. 26, 2014 implementation of the Full-Service Intelligent Mail requirement for automation price discounts," USPS added. "Mailers who are not currently enrolled in full-service effective Jan. 26, 2014 will still be able to claim automation prices."

Business owners who want to receive the largest discounts for their direct mailings and parcel delivery are recommended to enroll into the full-service IMb plan.

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