Package security

The Postal Service is increasing the safety and security of its collection box procedures.

The organization is modifying the long-standing Aviation Mail Security Rule, which was established in 1996 and called for packages weighing 16 ounces or more to be presented in person to a retail associate or letter carrier.

The rule was introduced to enhance security measures and protect the public, postal employees and postal contractors who transport U.S. Mail.

In 2007, the weight allowance was decreased. Since then, packages that weigh 13 ounces or more and bear only stamps as postage were required to be presented to a USPS employee at a retail counter.

The update to the rule will enhance these existing safety procedures.

Beginning Oct. 1, packages with stamps as postage that are more than one-half inch thick or weigh more than 10 ounces will be prohibited from entering the mailstream through collection boxes or Post Office mail slots.

Packages and all other mailpieces of this type must now be taken to a retail counter.

Customers can also use Postal Service self-service kiosks to purchase postage labels and drop these packages into the package slots — not mail slots — at a Post Office.

If a restricted package or mailpiece is found in a collection box, mail chute or lobby mail slot after Oct. 1, the package will be returned to the sender with a Customer Return Label attached explaining the restrictions and reason for return.

Customers who use Click-N-Ship are not affected by this change.

USPS will update labels on collection boxes and Post Office mail slots with the new information.

‘Fresh look’ at mail

Businesswoman speaks on stage

The Postal Service is working with business customers to drive changes in the way mail is used, the organization’s top executives told industry leaders last week.

Two examples are Informed Delivery, a free feature that provides consumers with a digital preview of their incoming mail, and Informed Visibility, a platform that allows businesses to use USPS data to better manage their marketing campaigns.

These topics and others were discussed at meetings with almost 140 Postal Customer Councils (PCCs) during National PCC Week, an annual effort that brings USPS and industry leaders together in communities across the nation.

The meetings also featured a video update from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, who encouraged PCC members to incorporate Informed Delivery into their marketing efforts and to use Informed Visibility.

Brennan also invited PCC members to participate in a new marketing campaign that the Postal Service is developing for the mailing industry.

“Help us tailor this campaign to meet your needs and encourage America’s businesses and marketers to give mail a fresh look,” she said.

Other topics discussed during National PCC Week included the Postal Service’s efforts to remain competitive in the package delivery industry.

Brennan said the Postal Service has “a unique ability to scale and meet market demands through our unrivaled network, and we are committed to maintaining profitable growth in the package business by driving innovation, exploring opportunities with new customers, and expanding our relationships with existing ones.”

Additionally, National PCC Week showcased an initiative by USPS and the PCCs to promote the value of mail to future business leaders. Through these efforts, colleges and universities are incorporating direct mail into their marketing and graphic communication curriculums and showing students how mail remains an effective marketing channel.

Other highlights during the week included professional development workshops and an overview of the recent PCC Leadership Awards.