USPS to Expand Acceptance Hours for Parcel Select DDU

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BOSTON -- The U.S. Postal Service said yesterday that it will expand and standardize Parcel Select Destination Delivery Unit acceptance hours nationwide by adding "early-bird" hours.

The move is expected to make it easier for parcel consolidators to conduct business through the nation's mail system. The announcement came at the Fall 2002 National Postal Forum.

Parcel Select is a service targeted to high-volume shippers who serve residential customers and who receive workshare discounts. Here, shippers deliver packages to DDUs -- in essence, further into the mail stream -- enabling them to become eligible for destination entry rates that are reduced because delivery zones are skipped.

"Parcel Select mailers have indicated ... interest in expanding the current 10 a.m.-4 p.m. acceptance window to include early morning hours," said Patrick Donahoe, chief operating officer at the USPS.

In the first phase, which begins Oct. 19, the drop-ship times for Parcel Select DDU products will be standardized nationwide at 5 a.m.-7 a.m. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. among the 1,000 largest offices with limited exceptions, Donahoe said.

Headquarters will continue to support current local initiatives to expand Parcel Select drop-ship hours beyond these standardized minimums based on mailers' requests and current staffing.

The second phase will include modified standardized early morning acceptance times for an additional 7,800 offices, based on current staffing, scheduling and facility capacity. A timeframe has not been set yet for the second phase.

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