New Postal Machines Prompt BPM Rule

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The U.S. Postal Service has finalized a new labeling requirement for Bound Printed Matter machinable parcels based on this year's deployment of upgraded package sorters.


The rule takes effect July 6 but mailers are encouraged to comply as soon as possible. Bound Printed Matter is Package Services mail (typically catalogs, books and other printed material) that weighs up to 15 pounds and meets specific eligibility standards.


Under the rule, published in yesterday's Federal Register, when a BPM machinable parcel consists of multiple pieces for a single address secured with transparent shrinkwrap, mailers must label the parcel using one of these options:


· A firm optional endorsement line, followed by the five-digit destination ZIP code of the parcel.


· A blue, pressure-sensitive, barcoded Label F on the address side of the parcel.


The new standards do not apply to BPM flats or irregular parcels.


The USPS said these markings will let its new high-speed automated package processing system recognize that these BPM machinable parcels are intended for a single address.


This year, 74 of these APPS next-generation package sorters will be deployed in the postal service's network. APPS uses optical character and barcode readers to improve distribution productivity. APPS is replacing many of the older-technology small parcel bundle sorters and is driving the need for 100 percent readable and accurate package barcodes.


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