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USPS Proceeds on Drop-Shipment Changes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service plans a new fall mailing season campaign aimed at mailers and postal facilities and designed to create awareness about key drop-shipment policies and improved holiday hours.

The news was provided by Anita Pursley, vice president of postal affairs at Quebecor World Logistics. She was a speaker at the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting here yesterday.

The USPS also plans to manually review and update drop-shipment locations and annexes, said Pursley, who also heads an MTAC work group called “Improving the Drop Shipment Process.”

Pursley also said the USPS is proceeding with plans to replace its Drop Ship Appointment System with a system called Facility Access and Shipment Tracking, or FAST.

A key reason for this change involves new Department of Transportation rules governing truck drivers' “hours of service,” which could increase costs for the USPS and mailers. The new rules decrease the total number of hours truck drivers are on duty. Mailers recently have indicated concern about the new rules.

Mailers currently use DSAS to schedule drop-ship appointments at USPS facilities.

The DSAS system will be improved to decrease overall dock wait times and increase the visibility of mail. The USPS plans to encourage mailers to participate in the new system by offering preferred status to mailers meeting FAST requirements, which include offering data about their mailings as well as appointment request information.

The USPS also plans to use this data to improve dock processes and personnel scheduling.

The USPS said it aims to pilot the FAST system by Oct. 25 and implement it by Jan. 15, 2005.

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