USPS Offers New Link Addressing Tool

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Postal Service officials announced a new entry in the agency's Link line of products, LACSLink, at yesterday's 2004 National Postal Forum.


The Locatable Address Conversion System gives mailers an automated method to obtain new addresses when a 911 emergency system has been implemented. These address conversions normally involve changing rural-style addresses to city-style addresses, but in some cases conversions may result in the renaming or renumbering of existing city-style addresses.


About 400,000 rural route/box numbers have changed each year since 1994.


Link refers to the same technology used in the new NCOALink product.


LACSLink "reduces undeliverable mail, improves address quality and enhances list administration," said James D. Wilson, program manager at the USPS.


Also at the forum, Charles Bravo, USPS senior vice president of intelligent mail and address quality, gave an overview of the postal service's 4-state barcode. The new barcode lets the USPS encode 31 digits of information and combines sorting and tracking information.


The USPS starts testing the new barcode with one mailer this fall. It then will evaluate and prepare a strategy to bring on early adopters. The system could be operating by early 2006. Live flat-mail testing begins next fall.


The USPS also said it is conducting a study of undeliverable-as-addressed mail to see how much UAA mail is in the system and what causes it. The research will be completed in December and should be available to the public next year. The research is being done by Christensen Associates.


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