Mark your calendars — January 26, 2015 the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) will implement new requirements for package tracking, and postage meter users will be affected. To summarize, all meter mailers must now include an Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IM®pb) on USPS package shipments in order to qualify for Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) rates. So if you are a postage meter user and want to preserve your discounted shipping rates, you’ll need to make some changes to the way you ship packages. But first, here’s some background.
What is the Intelligent Mail Package Barcode?
The Intelligent Mail Package Barcode, or IMpb for short, is the most advanced form of USPS package tracking. This barcode includes all the shipping information needed for the Postal Service to track packages from pickup to final delivery, and it brings the number of scan events for USPS package tracking on par with both FedEx and UPS.
The biggest benefit of including an IMpb label on USPS shipments is clear: end-to-end visibility. The IMpb allows you and your customers to track packages in transit and better predict delivery. Additionally, including an IMpb on packages now provides access to discounted rates.
Better package tracking sounds great. So what exactly is changing?
Up until recently, all USPS packages were required to have an IMpb label, with the exception of a few mail classes, such as Standard Mail, Media Mail, postage meter mailers, and a few others. But as of January 26, all commercial packages sent through the USPS must have an IMpb barcode in order to qualify for Commercial Base Pricing (i.e., discounted shipping rates).
In other words, if you’re planning to use a postage meter to ship packages after January 26, you will not only need to attach a USPS Tracking™ label to each shipment, but you’ll also have to pay a little extra for the package — the retail rate, to be exact.
So, what are your options?
If you want to continue receiving discounted USPS shipping rates, you will need to create IMpb-compliant shipping labels. Electronic Postage solutions, such as Endicia, can help with that.
Endicia Standard, in particular, is perfect for offices that need to print postage for mailings, but also ship the occasional package. And you automatically get access to Commercial Base Pricing rates on packages. Learn more about Endicia Standard and get a 30-day trial of the software here.
For more information on the new IMpb package tracking requirements, please visit our FAQ page here.