Archive for March 3rd, 2009

A Guide To the Other Guides?

without comments

This all has to make you wonder.

At the USPS RIBBS site, there is a page where you can access Intelligent Mail Guides and Specifications, here.  There is now a 5-page “Resource Map” that describes all of the documents and resources that may be needed for Intelligent Mail.  The list includes:

The Domestic Mail Manual
Federal Register Notice/ Vol. 73, No. 163/, August 21, 2008
A Beginners Overview to Intelligent Mail Services
A Guide to Intelligent Mail® for Letters and Flats
Electronic Documentation and Intelligent Mail; Ready, Set, Go!
PostalOne! Mail.dat Technical Specification
PostalOne! Mail.XML Technical Specification

The links given for all of these guides is the same,  In order to find the individual guides, you need to click on Intelligent Mail in the left hand column, and choose Guides.

At this point, the “Resource Map” takes you on a giant-URLs tour of the Intelligent Mail barcode itself:

Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification, USPS-B-3200 available at

Service Type Identifiers, found in the Intelligent Mail® Barcode Technical Resource Guide available at:

Next up are some more lengthy and complex links to get to the Intelligent Mail Tray Label Specifications:

To create and print the pure 24-digit Intelligent Mail Tray Label, use specification USPS-L-3216 , available at: Mail cannot be tendered with the pure 24-digit barcode until April 6, 2009.
To create and print the 10/24-digit Intelligent Mail Tray Label, use specification USPS-L-3191, available at:

and the Intelligent Mail Container Label Specification:
To create and print the Intelligent Mail Container Label, obtain the specifications USPS-B-3215 available on
Which, oddly enough, only lists the direct RIBBS link instead of the actual Container Label link:

Last but not least are a listing of “Personal Resources” such as how:

To find your local Business Mail Entry (BME) Manager, go to:

To find your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA), go to:

and information on OneCode ACS® and OneCode Confirm®
My commentary here is – when you need a guide to all of your guides and materials – things are out of hand and grossly unmanagable.  The complexitiy of Intelligent Mail is evident simply by looking at the summary of documentation, all in different place, all changing without notification.  (For example, Version 5 of the Guide to Intelligent Mail was supposed to be posted last Thursday, as indicated on the RIBSS site.  It is now listed as “Coming Soon”.)

The worst part of all this – the size of the encyclopedia of questions that remain unanswered or unclear, with answers still to come.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

March 3rd, 2009 at 11:27 am

Posted in USPS

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