USPS Files New Classification, Pricing for Confirm

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The U.S. Postal Service has filed a new mail classification and flexible pricing proposal with the Postal Rate Commission for Confirm, its flat-mail and letter-mail tracking system, the agency said yesterday.

Confirm has two services: Destination Confirm and Origin Confirm. Destination Confirm tells mailers when outbound mail pieces such as bills, statements or advertising solicitations will be delivered. Origin Confirm provides information for inbound mail pieces such as business reply or courtesy reply mail.

According to the postal service's PRC filing, revenues and expenses for Confirm in fiscal year 2003 are $9.2 million and $5 million, respectively.

If approved by the PRC, Confirm will be offered on a subscription basis with three pricing options based on use:

· Silver. The subscription price would be $2,000 for three months. It would include one marker within the barcode that isolates data for that particular mailer and 15 million scans, which occur each time one of the mail pieces passes through the automated sorting equipment.

· Gold. This price is $4,500 for one year, with one marker and 50 million scans.

· Platinum. The subscription price is $10,000 for one year and includes an unlimited number of scans and 3 ID codes.

More than 600 companies have tested Confirm over the past several years.

"As the largest user of Confirm for flats, we've realized considerable benefits for both our clients and our company," said Anita Pursley, vice president, postal affairs at Quebecor World Logistics. "Our catalog clients are using planet code data to manage their fulfillment and call center resources more effectively and are realizing significant cost savings. [In addition] internally, Quebecor World Logistics uses this data to more effectively achieve our clients' in-home delivery expectations."

The postal service requests expedited consideration of this classification request and hopes the PRC decides within three months.


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