New USPS Product Identifies Residential Addresses

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The U.S. Postal Service is offering a new data product called Residential Delivery Indicator that it said helps direct marketers reduce shipping costs by verifying whether a delivery type is classified as residential or business.

The type of address can be important, the USPS said, because some carriers charge a higher price for delivery to a residence.

"The issue of what's a residence and what's a business had always been an after-the-fact decision point," said James I. Cochrane, manager, package services product development, USPS. "It comes up as an ancillary charge at the end of the monthly billing cycle, for example. This is a product that allows a shipper, for the first time, to have this ... information upfront. They can decide which carriers to use based on the information they receive."

Standard residential surcharges for air and ground deliveries at carriers such as United Parcel Service and FedEx are about $1.15. Additional charges are sometimes added for delivery to residences in rural areas.

To use RDI, customers apply for an annual licensing fee with the USPS for $300. Once that application is approved and the $300 is received, the USPS will provide data sets to the customer.

The data sets are used in conjunction with CASS-certified address-matching software, and CASS vendors provide customers with the ability to view the raw data. Currently, two CASS-certified address-matching software vendors offer the data product: BCC Software, Rochester, NY, and Group 1 Software, Lanham, MD.

BCC Software is offering RDI-enabled software as an option to its product, Mail Manager 2010, for a fee of $100. Group 1 is bundling it with its Delivery Point Validation subscription and offering it as a free value-added service.

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