USPS Glossary

3602: Postal receipt used as verification of performance (shows dates of mailing and quantity mailed) for card packs and co-op mailings

AEC: Address Element Correction, U.S. Postal Service software that revises incomplete or incorrect address records.

Automation discount: Postage discount to mailers who barcode their mailpieces and meet addressing, readability, and other requirements for processing on automated equipment.

Bound Printed Matter (BPM): Catalogs, magazines, and other bound printed materials.

Bulk mail: Standard or third class mail.

Bulk mail center (BMC): One of 29 postal processing facilities that distribute third class mail.

Bulk Parcel Return Service (BPRS): USPS service that enables high-volume mailers to have undeliverable-as-addressed Standard Mail machinable parcels returned to them.

Carrier route: All the addresses that a postal carrier delivers to.

Carrier route presort mail: Mail sorted by carrier route to qualify for postage discounts.

CASS: Coding Accuracy Support System, a USPS service that checks the accuracy of zip codes, zip+4 codes, delivery point codes, and carrier route codes.

Co-op mailing: In which several companies or organizers combine their mail pieces into one mailing to obtain volume discounts.

Copalletize: To combine together on a pallet mail from two or more senders.

Delivery Confirmation: USPS service that provides the date and time of delivery or, if delivery was not successful, the date and time of the delivery attempt.

Delivery sequenced mail: Mail that is arranged by a mailer in delivery order for a particular carrier route.

Destination bulk mail center (DBMC) rate: A discounted postal rate received when a mailing is delivered by the mailer to the appropriate BMC.

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.

Destination delivery unit (DDU) rate: A discounted postal rate for third class mail and periodicals that are delivered by the mailer to the appropriate DDU.

Destination sectional center facility (DSCF) rate: A discounted postal rate for standard mail, Parcel Post, and Bound Printed Matter that is delivered by the mailer to the sectional center.

DSF: Delivery Sequence File, mail that the cataloger arranges in delivery order for a particular carrier route. Mailers can use DSF to identify questionable addresses.

Express Mail: Expedited mail service that is the fastest offered by the Postal Service.

FASTforward: USPS-licensed automated system that updates addresses by matching names and addresses with change-of-address orders on file.

First class mail: Personal, sealed mail, or standard mail that is sent at the higher first class rate.

Flats: Mail that exceeds the Postal Service’s dimensions for letters (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); dimensions for automation rate flats vary.

LACS: Locatable Address Collection Service, a U.S. Postal Service database, available through licensees, that provides the official addresses of buildings that had formerly been designated only by rural postal routes.

Machinable mail: Mail that meets certain weight, size, and material criteria so that it can be put through the Postal Service’s automated mail processing system.

Mail sorting: Arranging the pieces in a bulk mailing by zip code before delivering it into the postal stream.

Media Mail: Commercial mail consisting of books, sheet music, printed educational material, film, videocassettes, and computer prerecorded media such as CD-ROMs.

National Change of Address (NCOA) system: A list hygiene system from USPS that enables mailers to check the addresses on their list against the addresses of movers who filed a change-of-address form with the postal service.

Postal endorsement: A service run by the USPS in which, for a fee, a carrier will fill out a form notifying the mailer of any address that is found to be undeliverable.

Priority Mail: First Class mail that weighs more than 13 ounces and, at the mailer's option, any other mail matter weighing less than 13 ounces mailed at Priority Mail rates for expedited service.

Sectional center facility (SCF): One of more than 450 postal sorting facilities where mail goes after it’s been sorted at a bulk mail center and before heading on to the destination delivery unit.

Standard Mail: Commercial and nonprofit mail that weighs less than 16 ounces a piece; subclasses are Regular Standard Mail, Nonprofit Standard Mail, Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail, and Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail.

Zone skipping: Using a third-party delivery service to take catalogs or other packages from the printer or fulfillment center to the post offices nearest the recipients’ homes, bypassing several intermediary stages that are part of the typical end-to-end U.S. Postal Service delivery process.