Depending on the number of packages that you are shipping or the options you are looking for, Quadient offers two IMpb-compliant online shipping solutions. One is NeoShip which is designed for low-mid volume shipments. The second is Enhanced Mailing & Shipping (EMS) designed for high volume shippers.
Extra Services will require an IMpb barcode to meet the latest USPS mandate.
The Label 400 is a pre-printed tracking label that is free from the USPS. Using a Label 400 will not qualify for Commercial Base Pricing in 2015 but it does meet the USPS requirement for affixing a barcode to every package. The Label 400 can be ordered through the USPS:
- Mobile USPS® App
- Available at the retail counter
Preprinted labels do not qualify for benefits such as Commercial Base Pricing because the label is missing data elements that are required in an IMpb barcode per the USPS. In order to qualify, you must be able to upload the following information to the USPS:
- Shipping Address File
- Destination Zip Code + 4
- Mail Class
When using an online shipping software package, you enter the characteristics of the shipment - for example: (1) What address is the item being shipped to? (2) How is it being shipped? (3) What Extra Services are being added to the shipment? The Intelligent Mail Package Barcode itself is then generated based on the criteria that you have defined. As part of the software package, a shipping services file is then sent to the USPS.
This is not the case with a pre-printed label. With a pre-printed label, you are peeling and sticking the label on the package. No shipping services file is being uploaded to the USPS – unless you have an application such as E-Services or E-Services with Electronic Return Receipt. More importantly, you have not created the label based on the unique characteristics of the shipment – therefore the overall requirements have not been met. There is no address validation, correction, or zip + 4 upload. With that said, the item does not meet the full IMpb requirement and will only qualify for retail rates. The pre-printed label DOES meet the USPS minimum requirement that states every package must now include an IMpb barcode. In fact, the pre-printed label does include an IMpb barcode that will provide partial IMpb benefits including tracking information such as arrival and departure info, date and time of delivery and attempted delivery.
A pre-printed label does not qualify for full benefits because the mail class is not included. As a result, pre-printed labels do not receive:
- Free insurance on Priority Mail / Priority Mail Express or
- Commercial Based Rates
Commercial Base Pricing (CBP) is a set of special discounted rates that are available to shippers who use scan-able postage markings and send package data to the USPS systems electronically.
With CBP there is no minimum shipping volume required to obtain the discounted rates and it applies to items with a weight up to 70 lbs. Also CBP can be applied to mail classes such as: Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Services and First-Class International Packages, Media Mail, Library Mail, etc.
After January 26, 2015, only shipping labels that include an IMpb will qualify for Commercial Base Pricing. A pre-printed label with an IM®pb will only qualify for Retail Rates. Examples of pre-printed labels with an IM®pb barcode include a:
- USPS Tracking Label (also known as the Label 400)
- USPS Extra Services Label such as eSignature Confirmation
IMpb enhances the overall customer experience by:
- Providing end-to-end tracking information
- Offering status from every scan point – leading to better management of shipment expectations
- Accessing the best prices for parcel shipments with Commercial Base Discounts
- Automatically qualifying for Free Insurance on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express
- Items with a value up to $50 (Priority) / $100 (Priority Mail Express)
- Delivering a neat and clean shipping label
- Eliminating the need for multiple barcodes on a package
- Keeping compliant for future USPS® features, products, and services
Parcels, packages, and Priority Mail® Express or Priority Mail® pieces of any shape, size, or price category, including flat-rate boxes and envelopes require an IMpb (barcode). In addition, the following mail classes require an IMpb:
- First-Class Mail Package Services
- Parcel Select
- Parcel Select Lightweight
- Standard Mail
- Library Mail
- Media Mail
- Bound Printed Matter