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Postal Glossary

Term Definition
Bound Printed Matter (BPM) Mail class that consists of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial matter (or a combination of such matter). Piece weighs over one pound.
Bulk Mail Center (BMC) A mail processing plant that distributes large volumes of Standard and Bound Printed Matter Mail.  Reduced postage is available when properly prepared mail is delivered by the mailer to the appropriate BMC postal facility.
CAPS debit account  Centralized Account Processing System designating a debit-enabled bank account for postage charges. The bank account is debited for the total day's postage on the next bank business day.
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) Ensures accuracy of carrier route, 5-digit zip, Zip + 4 and delivery point codes that appear on the mailpieces.
Delivery Point Validation (DPV) DPV identifies whether a ZIP + 4 coded address is currently represented in the USPS delivery file as a known address record. The DPV Product allows users to confirm known USPS addresses as well as identify potential addressing issues that may hinder delivery.
Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) The final postal facility at which a mailpiece arrives prior to being delivered to the addressee; local post offices are DDUs.
Detached Mail Unit (DMU) An area in a mailer's facility where postal employees perform mail verification, acceptance, dispatch, and other postal functions.
Drop Ship Typically the movement of a mailer's product on private (nonpostal) transportation from the point of production to a postal facility located closer to the destination of that product. (BMC or SCF)
Firm Bundling A firm bundle is a group of individually addressed mail pieces for the same address secured together as a unit (bundle). The recipient on each addressed piece within the firm bundle can be different but the delivery address must be the same.
First-Class Mail (FCM) A class of mail that includes personal correspondence, all bills and statements of account, and all matter sealed or otherwise closed against inspection. Priority Mail is a subclass of First-Class Mail.
Flat-size mail A flexible rectangular mailpiece that exceeds one of the dimensions for letter-size mail (11-1/2 inches long, 6-1/8 inches high, 1/4 inch thick) but does not exceed the maximum dimension for the mail processing category (15 inches long, 12 inches high, 3/4 inch thick). Flat-size mail may be unwrapped, sleeved, wrapped, or enveloped.
Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) Originally known as the 4-State Customer barcode, this new Postal Service barcode will be used to sort and track letters and flats. The Intelligent Mail barcode combines the data of the existing POSTNET and PLANET CODE barcodes, as well as other data, forming a single barcode.
Letter-size mail A mail processing category of mailpieces, including cards, that do not exceed any of the dimensions for letter-size mail (i.e., 11-1/2 inches long, 6-1/8 inches high, 1/4 inch thick).
Mail.dat files Files produced after the presort reflecting all the variables and make up of a mailing.  These electronic files replace the need for paper documents and reports.
Mixed class  A co-mailing containing both Periodicals and Standard flat-size mail.
Move Update Mailers who plan to claim discounted First-Class Mail and Standard Mail prices must meet the Move Update standard for updating addresses. Effective November 2008, the Postal Service required all addresses on mailings that receive discounts for First-Class Mail or Standard Mail service to undergo address correction within 95 days of the mailing.
National Change of Address (NCOA) An address correction service that the USPS provides to mailers through USPS licensees. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them against change-of-address information for the entire country from all Computerized Forwarding System units. If a match is made, NCOA can correct the address before it is printed on a mailpiece.
Origin entry The mailers’ local postal facility that accepts mail that does not drop ship.
Periodicals A class of mail consisting of magazines or other publications formed of printed sheets that are issued at least four times a year at regular, specified intervals (frequency) from a known office of publication. Periodicals usually must have a legitimate list of subscribers and requesters.
Preflight When off-site co-mailing, the presort is prepared by the co-mailer. Prior to the co-mailer presorting, mail files must be preflighted. HPS or a 3rd party list provider will take care of the preflight. Preflight includes: Supplying mail data in the correct file format, CASS Certification, customer approval procedure of the data content, paste ups for the co-mailer showing the actual placement of the mail data, posting files to the co-mailer's site, a postage estimate and accepting the QC inkjet sample from the co-mailer.
Presort The electronic process which sorts and groups mail by ZIP Code sequence so that it qualifies for the maximum postal discounts available.
Pool The combining (co-mailing) of multiple magazine and catalog titles creating a single mailstream or “pool”.
Pool start date The date the off-site co-mailer begins the make ready (set up) of the “pool”.
Sectional Center Facility (SCF) A postal facility that serves as the processing and distribution center (P&DC) for post offices in a designated geographic area as defined by the first three digits of the ZIP Codes. Reduced postage is available when properly prepared mail is delivered by the mailer to the appropriate SCF postal facility.
Seed Extra addresses, which are placed into a mailing, that are actually used for monitoring delivery times while also providing list protection.
Standard Mail A class of mail that weighs less than 16 ounces. It includes circulars, printed matter, pamphlets, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, and merchandise. Examples of items that do not qualify for Standard Mail, and will be classified as 1st Class include bills, invoices, statements, and personal information.  Standard mail is primarily used for advertising and notification, not communication of personal information.