--US Postal Service revamps mail forwarding procedure--
In an effort to cut down on the millions of dollars the United States Postal Service spends each year to forward first-class mail, the USPS is introducing regulations intended to make mailers update their mailing lists. The changes are another phase of the USPS's ongoing mail classification reform.
Members of the MIT community who send out large mailings from a mailing list can run their address databases against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database, which is maintained by the USPS. NCOA is where a customer's name, old address and new address go when he or she fills out a change-of-address form at a post office.
Several vendors are licensed by the USPS to check mailing lists against the NCOA database. This must be done within six months of a mailing. For more information, call Penny Guyer, MIT Mail Services manager, at x3-6000.
Regular daily first-class mail is also subject to the new federal regulations. Since individual pieces of mail do not involve use of a database that can be compared to NCOA, another updating method must be used. There are several alternatives, but the most practical and least expensive for MIT offices is called Address Correction Requested.
Mail Services has begun to print "Address Correction Requested" on each piece of outgoing first-class mail as it goes through its postage meters. If the USPS finds that a recipient has moved, it will return the item to MIT. The relevant Institute department can then resend the mail after correcting the address.
For reasons of economy, MIT has selected this system rather than one in which the USPS forwards the mail and notifies Mail Services separately of the new address. That notification-and-forwarding option costs 50 cents per item, while the address correction service does not require any fees other than the postage.
--MIT forges deal with DHL for air-express service--
The new drop-off center for air-express packages has been busy since the Mail Services and Purchasing departments reached an agreement with DHL Worldwide Express to provide discounted air express services to the MIT community.
The arrangement announced last month includes late pickups, the central drop-off location in Building 11 and simplified paperwork. Departments, labs and centers (DLCs) will see direct savings through discounted rates, and there will also be indirect savings through reduced work in several central areas.
Under a simplified shipping process, MIT customers may use the same airway bill for either international or domestic shipments. Because MIT has negotiated one major account with DHL, individual purchase orders are not necessary; customers enter just their DLC or research account number in the shipper's reference portion of the airway bill. They may request pickups as late as 7pm by dialing 1-800-CALL-DHL (1-800-225-5345). Parcel tracing and country-specific information can be found on DHL's Web site at
DHL staffs the express center in the Copy Technology Center in Rm 11-004 from 4-7pm, Monday through Friday. Customers may drop off packages at this location if they wish. The telephone number for the Express Center is x8-0319.
"The response has been tremendous" at the express center, Denise Springer, MIT's DHL account representative, said last week. "It's a lot more than we expected, especially considering spring break. I think people like the security of getting the receipt right away, rather than leaving the package at the door [for after-hours pickup] and looking for the receipt in the morning." Customers may also obtain mailing supplies through the center, she noted.
Any questions about this new arrangement should be directed to Purchasing at x3-7247, Mail Services at x3-6000, or Ms. Springer at (800) 433-6345, x1785.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 3, 1997.