USPS to Debut Mail System 'Just In Time'

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The U.S. Postal Service is set to launch May 1 both its "Auto Day In The Mail" program in the Milwaukee area and a date-certain delivery service called " Just In Time Advertising Mail" in Cincinnati.

The JITA program is similar to "Auto Day," in which the USPS is enticing the local auto industry to advertise through the mail by guaranteeing that their mail pieces will be delivered to mailboxes on Fridays. Any industry, however, can benefit with JITA.

"JITA Mail is designed to address the needs of advertisers who value having their media delivered to their audiences on a specific day or date," said Robert Martone, project manager at USPS, "and it will also grow advertising mail for the USPS."

The program should roll out nationwide in July. JITA customers will use a USPS Internet system to review available dates and then make a reservation at least three weeks before the date they would like their mailing to go out and up to 12 months before the day they would like their mailing delivered. Mailers then drop ship their mail to their Sectional Center Facility no later than 7 a.m. one day before the delivery day.

No pricing has been set yet, but Martone said a special handling fee may be added. JITA will operate on a first-come first-served basis.

"What JITA does is set a priority for those customers who make a reservation," Martone said.

In addition, he said the program will help the USPS serve its customers better, especially those who currently try to make reservations for their mailings.

JITA participants must prepare their mail according to the Enhanced Carrier Route rate categories, such as basic, saturation and high density. All letter and flats must have preprinted barcodes. The ECR category requires 200-piece local and national mailings, of which at least 10 pieces are sent to the same delivery unit or post office section.

Mailers also must use unique PLANET Code barcodes, which help the USPS confirm mail delivery. This information then will be processed on the USPS' barcode sorters and automatically transmitted to a database through a reporting system and subsequently be reported to the mailer.

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