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Overview


UWF Postal Services provides free mail processing services to all authorized organizations, offices and departments for all classes of U.S. Postal Service official University mail. This includes sealing letters, determining and imprinting postage for your mail using postal scales, processing equipment and postage meter and meter tapes, and entering the mail into the U.S. Postal Service system. UWF Postal Services also acquires all UWF Mail Permits and maintains the necessary advance deposit accounts for University Standard/Presorted-First-Class (Bulk), Postage Due and Business Reply Mail. Departments are charged for exact postage only. Your mail should be prepared in accordance with the guidance in this section of the postal guide.  If this guidance is strictly followed your mail will receive consistent and on-time delivery, and you will avoid costly overcharges and frustrating delays.

Mail for processing is collected in the UWF Campus Mail System or mailers may bring it to the UWF Post Office window, loading dock, drop it in a campus collection box or the lobby collection slot in the University Commons, Building 22. The U.S. Postal Service mail truck picks up UWF mail at 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Therefore, it is necessary to insure all mail to be processed is in the UWF Post Office by 3:00 p.m. for same-day dispatch and postmark. Mail received after this cutoff may not be processed until the following business day.

When mail is processed the postage used is automatically attributed to the customer’s Banner index by UWF Postal Services’ computerized Mail Management accounting system. The accumulated postage is billed/charged to the account holder after the end of the month. Questions concerning postage charges should be directed to the Postal Manager at 474-2437 or Assistant Postal Manager at 474-3211.

 


Postage Rates

Postage is charged according to the class of mail and the way the mail is prepared and presented to the U.S. Postal Service. Most domestic UWF mail is sent Expedited (Express or Priority), First Class, First Class presorted (500 or more pieces), Standard Mail - bulk (200 or more pieces), Standard Post, Library or Media Mail. The more presorting that is done, the more accurate addresses are, and the more barcoding (automation) that is done, the less postage is required because the U.S. Postal Service will handle the mail less. UWF mailers should use the least costly method of mailing which will accomplish the mailing need. Call UWF Postal Services at 474-2436 or 474-3211 if you need assistance in determining the best and least costly mailing alternatives. 

Postage rates for all classes of domestic and international mail change periodically. Current postage rates may be found on the U.S. Postal Service web site by selecting “Calculating a Price”, or for a complete chart of rates visit the Postal Explorer Price List

Choosing the Right Class of U.S. Mail

Every piece of mail entered into the U.S. Postal Service mail stream belongs to a certain class, and the class to which it belongs determines the way it is handled. Mailers should use the UWF Postal Charge Memo to indicate the desired class of mail for mail pieces they submit for postage and processing.

Content and enclosures, weight, urgency, distance and cost are the factors you must consider in determining the class best suited for your mail pieces. The following brief information is provided to help you decide what class to select and the characteristics of each class.

Mailability.  If mail is considered “non-­‐mailable” it is prohibited from the mail. Some hazardous material is non-mailable outright. To be mailable, articles must be packaged correctly to prevent damage or harm, have required warnings if hazardous, restricted or perishable, and conform to specific postal rules and regulations. USPS Publication 52 describes these rules in more detail. One important rule is that a mail piece cannot be less than 3 ½” high by 5” long or it is non-mailable. If there is a question about mailability, call UWF Postal Services at 474-2436 for references and information.

Expedited Services – Priority Express and Priority Mail.

Priority Express Mail is the quickest and most costly method to mail an article with the U. S. Postal Service. It provides reliable, expedited mail delivery overnight (by 12:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.) or on the second day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Priority Express Mail is guaranteed on-time delivery or the postage is refunded. It is barcoded and can be traced.  Insurance is also included in the cost. It is also available to most APO’s and FPO’s and international locations, but is not guaranteed or delivered overnight. Priority Express Mail is expensive and should only be used when using another class of mail would not suffice. There is no minimum weight and the maximum is 70 pounds. The maximum size is 108” length and girth combined. Priority Express Mail envelopes, boxes, flat rate envelopes and boxes, and labels are available free of charge from the UWF Post Office.

Priority Mail is expedited First Class Mail with a 2 to 3 day delivery in the United States and its territories. It costs much less than Express Mail, but more than First Class Mail (up to 13 ounces). It is very reliable, but cannot be guaranteed. Barcoded USPS Tracking is free or Signature Confirmation is available for an extra fee to confirm time and place of delivery. There is no minimum weight and the maximum is 70 pounds. The maximum size is 108” length and girth combined. Priority Mail envelopes, labels and boxes; and flat rate envelopes and boxes are available free from the UWF Post Office. Flat rate boxes are good for heavy items going long distances.

Note: Priority Express and Priority Mail should not be used for the Pensacola 325 zip code delivery area unless absolutely required. First Class mail is normally delivered in two days within the Pensacola 325 zip code delivery area. Remember flat rates are not always the cheapest rates.

International max weights vary by country.

First Class Mail. This is the most common mail at UWF. If mail is submitted without an indication of the desired class, it will be assumed to be First Class. Almost anything can be mailed First Class and will be delivered in 1-5 days, depending on the zone, but is not guaranteed. Mail that is written or typewritten (even on a computer), personal correspondence, bills or statements, stamped cards, or Business Reply Mail must be mailed at the First Class rate. Priority Mail is actually a subclass of First Class and includes mail weighing more than 13 ounces (see above for limits). Most First Class Mail consists of letters, flats and small parcels.  If you have 500 or more pieces of similar First Class Mail you are eligible for a discount if certain presorting and other conditions are met. Bulk Mail - Standard and Presorted First Class, provides specific information for presorting. First Class Mail is sealed against postal inspection.

Periodicals Mail. This includes magazines and newspapers that meet strict rules and are published a minimum of 4 times per year. Call 474-2437 or 474-3211 for information.

Standard Mail. This is commonly called “Bulk Mail”. It is also referred to as Business or Advertising Mail. This includes mailable matter that is not First Class Mail or Periodicals and weighs less than 16 ounces. It includes fundraising and promotional material, advertising, circulars, catalogs, newsletters, booklets, flyers, etc. To qualify there must be at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of similar mail. It is open to postal inspection and is non-­‐personal in nature. Standard Mail sometimes receives deferred service, and therefore, has a lower priority than First Class Mail. It is usually delivered in one to seven days depending on the postal zone. All Standard Mail must be presorted and receives discounted rates. UWF qualifies for discounted nonprofit and automation standard rates if certain standards are met. See Bulk Mail - Standard and Presorted First Class sections about Standard Mail and Nonprofit Eligibility for requirements and qualification for special nonprofit rates.

Retail Ground. Small and large packages, thick envelopes, and tubes containing gifts and merchandise and other articles not required to be mailed as other classes of mail can be sent domestically using Retail Ground. This mail must be no heavier than 70 pounds or greater than 108” in length and girth combined. Retail Ground Mail, however, may reach up to 130” at an increased “oversized” rate. Retail Ground Mail usually takes one to eight days for delivery depending on the postal zone.

Media/Library Mail. These classes may provide lower postage rates and usually takes one to eight days for delivery depending on the postal zone:

Media Mail.  Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent domestically using Media Mail which is a cost efficient way to mail books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-­‐readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes).

Informally called “Book Rate”, Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books.

Library Mail. This includes books, sound recordings, printed music and museum materials and is reserved for the exchange of items between schools, libraries and museums and certain nonprofit organizations.

International Mail. International Mail is now all airmail. Letters, postcards, large envelopes and parcels (weight depends on the country) can be sent internationally. International Mail may take from 5 to 14 days for delivery depending on the destination. “M-­‐Bags” (for books) can be sent at a reduced rate and will take longer for delivery depending on the country. UWF Postal Services can mail International Mail to many countries faster using Express Mail International (1-­‐3 days) and Global Priority Mail (3-­‐5 days) if specified. This is faster and more expensive, but is not guaranteed. Customs Declaration Form, PS Form 2976 or 2976-A, must be completed by the mailer on the USPS web site and restrictions, rates and fees are outlined by country in the International Mail Manual (IMM) in UWF Postal Services or online. Customs forms cannot be hand printed and parcels require a meter strip instead of stamps. Call 474-2436 for additional information, forms, flat rate envelopes and boxes and supplies.

Choosing Special U.S. Mail Services

The U. S. Postal Service offers a number of special services to meet your mailing needs. All of these services are provided for a special fee in addition to postage. Mailers should only request those features they truly need using the UWF Postal Charge Memo. Applicable forms are available from UWF Postal Services or by calling 474-2436. All forms should be completed by the mailer prior to submission for processing. Current fees are posted on the UWF Postal Services web site, U S. Postal Service web site or you can call 474-2436 to request them. To help in choosing the appropriate service, these services, their requirements and features are described below.

USPS Tracking provides the mailer with the date/attempted delivery date of a Priority or Parcel mail piece upon inquiry. After mailing and waiting for the expected delivery period the mailer can call 1-800-222-1811 or access the Internet web site www.usps.com for the status of the delivery. No record is kept of the receipt however. A USPS Tracking barcode is attached to the mail piece by the Postal Clerk above the delivery address, and a receipt with the USPS Tracking number is returned to the sender by UWF Postal Services to use to inquire about delivery. USPS Tracking is free for Priority & Retail Ground Mail and should be used in lieu of Certified, Return Receipt or Registered Mail fees.  

Signature Confirmation provides the mailer with the date and time of delivery and a signature of the recipient at the location of delivery of a Priority or Parcel mail piece upon inquiry. After mailing and waiting for the expected delivery period the mailer can call 1-800-222-1811 or access the Internet web site www.usps.com for the status of the delivery and a copy of the recipient’s signature via fax, mail or email.  A bright pink and white, barcoded Postal Service Form153, Signature Confirmation Receipt, is attached to the mail piece by the mailer above the delivery address, and the date-­‐stamped receipt with the Signature Confirmation number is returned to the sender by UWF Postal Services to use to inquire about delivery. Signature Confirmation is also less costly than Certified, Return Receipt or Registered Mail fees.

Certified Mail provides proof of delivery of mail. The sender receives a mailing receipt at the time of mailing. The Postal Service keeps only a record of delivery at the recipient’s Post Office, which can be obtained upon request for a fee if necessary. Postal Service Form 3800, Certified Mail Receipt, a barcoded green and white form, should be completed with the “from” and “to” addresses by the sender and attached to the top, center of the mail piece, above the delivery address and folded over the top edge of a letter. UWF Postal Services will finish completion of the form, process the article and apply the appropriate postage and fee, and then return the date-stamped receipt to the mailer. Labels must not be placed in the postage area of the mail piece (top, right).

A Return Receipt provides the mailer with evidence of delivery. The return receipt is the sender’s proof of delivery. Most often this service is used in conjunction with Certified Mail but can be used with other special services as well. Postal Service Form 3811, Domestic Return Receipt, a green postcard form, should be completed by the sender with the sender’s address on the front and the delivery address on the back and attached to the back of letters and the front of flats and packages to the left of the delivery address on the mail piece. After delivery, the U. S. Postal Service mails the signed return receipt to the sender. A Return Receipt should only be used if required.

Registered Mail provides the highest security available for a mail piece.  It provides added protection for valuable and important mail and is used for domestic and international mail. A red and white, numbered and barcoded Postal Service Label 200 will be placed on the mail piece by UWF Postal Services. The mailer should complete a Postal Service Form 3806, Receipt for Registered Mail, with the “from” and “to” addresses and submit it with the properly sealed mail piece to UWF Postal Services. A copy of the date-stamped receipt will be returned to the mailer. All exposed edges and seams must be covered with brown paper sealing tape (no plastic or duct tape) available at the UWF Post Office. Registered Mail cannot be placed in padded, plastic, Tyvek, or glossy-coated envelopes or packaging.

Insured Mail provides coverage for lost, missing or damaged articles. Insurance covers only the actual value of the item and evidence of value must be presented when filing a claim. A black & white Postal Service Form 3813, Receipt for Domestic Insured Parcel, should be completed with the delivery address and submitted for articles $200 and under. The blue and white, barcoded Postal Service Form 3813-­‐P, Insured Mail Receipt, should be submitted to UWF Postal Services with the delivery address completed for items over $200. The form will be attached to the article above the delivery address on the item and the receipt returned to the sender after processing, postage application and mailing. Mailers must wait at least 21 days to file a claim at with USPS.

A Certificate of Mailing is a receipt showing that an item was mailed. No record is kept at the Post Office. The mailer must complete Postal Service Form 3817, Certificate of Mailing, for each item. UWF Postal Services will date-stamp and apply postage to the receipt and return it to the mailer.

Restricted Delivery service may be requested to have the mail piece delivered only to the addressee or the addressee’s agent.

Collect on Delivery (COD) service is available, but rarely used by UWF organizations and departments. A COD fee based on the value of the article, additional insurance if desired and postage are required for mailing. Also, the recipient must have ordered or have agreed to accept the goods being shipped prior to mailing. The delivery Post Office will collect the value and postage amounts from the addressee and return the check or money order to the sender. Call UWF Postal Services at 474-2436 for more details.

Mail Standards

The cost of mailing varies with each classification as indicated above in the Choosing the Right Class of U.S. Mail section, Choosing the Right Class of Mail, above. If established standards are not met mail will be subject to surcharges, additional fees or postage, or may not be mailable at all. Therefore the standards below should be followed in designing and preparing your mail.

All mail less than ¼” thick must be rectangular (sides parallel and meeting at right angles), a minimum of 3 ½” high x 5” long and at least .007” thick. Square envelopes are mailable, but an additional fee must be paid. Size is determined by placement of the address, therefore, the address on the face of the envelope should be parallel with the longest side of the envelope and should conform to Addressing for Success section below.

A letter is a mail piece that is less than 6 1/8” high x 11 1/2” long but larger than 3 1/2” high x 5” long, less than ¼” thick, and the flap should be at the top when looking at the address. Most folded self-­‐mailers are considered letters if they conform to these dimensions.  However, folded self-­‐mailers must have the fold on the bottom and must be tabbed in accordance with Self Mailer and Double Postcard samples (PDF).

A “flat” (or large envelope) is a mail piece that is larger than 6 1/8” high x 11 1/2” long or exceeds any letter-­‐size dimension, but is within the maximum dimension of 12” high x 15” long or ¾” thick.  The flap should be on the right side when looking at the address, except when the flap is on the longest side of the envelope it must be on top. Flats must meet a flexibility test and not be rigid.

A postcard (including a folded double postcard) must be larger than 3 ½” high x 5” long, but smaller than 4 ¼” high x 6” long in size and between .007 and .016 inches thick.

A First Class letter or postcard less than one ounce and not falling within the required dimensions or having an “Aspect Ratio” (length divided by width) less than 1.3 or more than 2.5 inches will be assessed a nonstandard surcharge. Square envelopes fall into this category.

Some items should not be mailed in letters or flats including paperclips, pens, metal or glass pieces, sand, bottle caps or similar odd-shaped items. Letter and Postcard Dimensions (PDF), is a quick reference that provides a diagram of the minimum and maximum dimensions for use determining types of mail.

A parcel is a mail piece that is neither a letter, flat, nor postcard. Round, triangular and cylindrical parcels should be avoided. Packaging should be cardboard or heavy paper wrapping. Oiled, waxed or black paper should not be used. Reinforced sealing tape or heavy-duty package sealing tape is preferred. String, “Scotch” tape, twine and rope are unacceptable. Contents must be packaged securely. Generally, this domestic mail must be 16 ounces or more, but no heavier than 70 pounds or greater than 108” in length and girth combined. Retail Ground Mail, however, may reach up to 130” at an increased “oversized” rate.

Addressing for Success

The single most important factor in getting your mail delivered quickly and accurately to the recipient is proper, quality addressing! This is especially true since most mail is processed by U.S. Postal Service automated machinery that uses optical character readers (OCR) to read addresses and sort to the proper location at a speed of 10 pieces per second. If your mail isn’t technically compatible it will be delayed and you’ll miss the related benefits, especially postage discounts. UWF Postal Services is here to assist you with addressing guidance and recommendations.  See Common Addressing Problems (PDF), for samples of addresses that are not technically compatible or machine readable. Addresses should be typewritten or machine printed.

The proper ZIP code is required on all outgoing UWF official business mail. ZIP codes are quickly and more accurately obtained online via the USPS web site and click on “ZIP” button, the fastest and most up-to-date method. You may also call 1 (800) ASK-USPS (275-8777) or the UWF Post Office at 474-2436 for ZIP code lookups. Never send mail without a ZIP code, because it will be delayed. If the ZIP+4 is unknown, use a 5-digit ZIP Code.

The UWF return address must be used on all official mail in the upper left corner. The department name must appear in the return address, even on UWF pre-addressed envelopes, so that the right postage is charged to the correct department and, more importantly, if the mail piece is undeliverable, it can be returned to the mailer. It is important that departments and organizations encourage their correspondents to send their replies and other mail to their full current address (name, department, building and room). This is especially true for periodicals and catalogs, which are often, addressed incompletely making it difficult to sort and slowing the distribution process.

The following recommendations are provided to make your University mail machinable, readable and technically compatible with U.S. Postal Service OCR readers and barcode sorters.

Size. Make sure that your letter is the proper size. See above dimensions or Letter and Postcard Dimensions (PDF), for more detailed information. Mail pieces smaller than 3 ½”x 5” and .007” thick are not mailable. Oversized mail is mailable but may bypass the OCR and be handled manually.

Address Location. The address on a letter must fall inside the OCR read area, which is an area at least ½” from the sides, 5/8” from the bottom, and no higher than 2¾” from the bottom. Make sure that no portion of the return address appears in the OCR Read Area as shown in the guide below. Plastic templates (Notice 67, 35, or 3A) are available from the US Postal Service and UWF Postal Services to help you quickly with letter size and address location.

letter envelope guide

 

Address Lines. Keep address lines in the same order as shown in the illustration above.  Make sure the address is as complete as possible, including all apartment or suite numbers and proper delivery designations (such as RD, NW, STE, etc.). See Chapter XI, Abbreviations, for the most common authorized U.S. Postal Service abbreviations. The optical character readers only read and sort from the bottom up, by the last two lines of the address and the carrier only delivers to the location on the second to last line, the delivery address. Therefore, avoid dual delivery addresses, such as both the street address and the PO Box number in the same address.  Use one or the other on the delivery address line, preferably the address where the recipient is most likely to receive the majority of their mail. For most businesses this is their PO Box since this mail is delivered and picked up earlier. The official 2-letter state abbreviations should be used and two spaces should separate the state from the ZIP+4 code. Never put anything under the last line (City, State, ZIP) except the country name spelled out, all caps, on international mail. If there is not enough room, you may put the ZIP code on the bottom line alone.

Address Characters. Capitalize everything using plain block uppercase letters or a sans serif typeface such as Helvetica, Courier, Univers, or Arial (avoid script, italic, artistic, etc. typefaces). Omit all punctuation, except the hyphen in the ZIP+4 code. Use authorized abbreviations whenever possible. Handwritten addresses should not be used on official University mail except when necessary or for a special effect. Use 10-12 point font size, and do not use small, light or bold fonts. Avoid double spacing.

Address Margin. Use block addressing with a uniform lefthand margin (left justified) anywhere inside the OCR read area. Addresses must be parallel to the bottom, not slanted or skewed. This is especially true for labels.

Spacing. The OCR must see a clear vertical space between each character and word and horizontal space between each line so that it will know where they begin and end. Spaces should be at least the width of one full-­‐sized character and cannot touch or overlap.

Barcode Clear Area. This area must remain clear of all printing, markings, or colored borders. This allows for a clean display of the barcode, which can be preprinted or that the Post Office machinery will spray there when it reads the address.

Non-Address Information/Logos.  Extraneous printing such as logos, promotional statements or other copy should be positioned above the delivery address line and not in the postage area. The space below and on either side of the delivery address line (second to last line of the address) should be clear of all printing or markings not a part of the address. These are recommended to be placed to the left, right or below (but not above) the return address.

Foreign Addresses. Foreign mailings should have the country name completely spelled out, printed in capital letters and in English, as the only information on the bottom line. The postal zone, if any, should be included with the city. For example:

 

PROFESSOR JUDY JOHNSON

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

WESTMINSTER UNIVERSITY

117 WINSDOR AVE

LONDON W1P6HQ ENGLAND

 

Window Envelopes.  The entire address must always be visible through window  envelopes  to avoid hidden addresses and delays for the resulting manual processing. The address should not be within 1/8” of the window border. Mailers should conduct a “tap” test to insure the inserts will not shift.  Never staple mail into window envelopes – use an envelope without a window.

Print Quality and Color. The OCR performs best with black ink on a white background. Certain color combinations are acceptable if there is enough contrast between the ink and paper. Keep the ink as dark as possible and the background as light as possible – pastels are good. Avoid using red, dark red or maroon paper.

Return Address. The return address tells the U.S. Postal Service and UWF Postal Services where the sender wants the mail piece returned if it cannot be delivered. The University’s return address with the department’s, office’s or organization’s name should be placed in the upper left corner of the envelope, above the delivery address line of the address, and outside of the OCR read area or it could be misread as the delivery address.  It should extend no further than half the length of the mail piece from the right edge and no further than one-third of the height of the mail piece from the top. Note that the format and font guidelines above for the delivery address do not necessarily apply to the return address. UWF Postal Services will not process any mail that does not have a University return address.  Home or business addresses may not be used. Preprinted University envelopes may be used for official University mail only. Mail that appears personal in nature using the University return address or envelopes will be returned to the sender’s department or organization.  

Sample acceptable return addresses:

UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA                        UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA

Department of Financial Services                        College of Professional Studies

Student Accounts Bldg. 20E                            11000 University PKWY    

11000 University Parkway                                      Pensacola, FL  32514-­‐5750

Pensacola, FL  32514-5750    

Most print vendors can assist in preprinting return addresses and also postage/permit indicia.

Endorsement Selection for Forwarding, Return and Address Service

Mailers can put approved Ancillary Service Endorsements on their mail in order to request forwarding, return or address correction services if desired. Specific endorsements are authorized for each class of mail. The endorsements used by UWF mailers are Address Service Requested, Forwarding Service Requested, Return Service Requested and Change Service Requested. If no endorsement is chosen the mail piece will be handled as though it has the “Forwarding Service Requested” endorsement.

Ancillary Service Endorsements can be used on First-Class Mail, Standard Mail and Package Service Mail. Using the wrong Ancillary Endorsement can be very costly, especially on Standard Mail, so care should be taken in making your choice, if any.

Placement.  The endorsement must be placed in one of these four positions:

  1. Directly below the return address.
  2. Directly above the delivery address area (which includes the delivery address block and any related non-address elements such as a barcode, keyline, or optional endorsement line).
  3. Directly to the left of the postage area and below or to the left of any price marking.
  4. Directly below the postage area and below any price marking.

addressing envelope example

Use the following chart (link to chart PDF) to determine how you want your mail handled and endorsed for First-Class and Standard Mail. Call UWF Postal Services at 474-2436 to determine current charges and fees and for advice on the best endorsement to use for your mailing and to avoid costly charges. Use of ancillary endorsements is one method of updating address lists to qualify for postage presorting discounts.

endorsements of first class and standard mail

Retail Ground Mail with one of the above endorsements will be forwarded locally at no charge or out of town with postage due depending on zone, or the mail will be returned at the appropriate single-piece rate. An address notice will be sent for Change Service Requested mail. 

Preparing and Submitting Mail

The originating office, department or organization is responsible for properly preparing all mail pieces which includes addressing, wrapping, enveloping, completing necessary forms, including the UWF Postal Charge Memo, and submitting it as described below.

All mail must be separated into categories when preparing mail for submission to UWF Postal Services in accordance with the Campus Mail System General Information.  The completed UWF Postal Charge Memo must be securely attached by rubber band, paper clip or tape to the meter, bulk or international mail with classes and services desired indicated.  If tape is used removable tape is recommended and it should be placed so that it will not tear or deface the mail piece when removed. All Special Service forms (e.g. Certified, Return Receipt, Registered Mail) should be completed by the mailer prior to submission. Call 474-2436 for forms and supplies.

Mail for students assigned a UWF mailbox must be submitted in mailbox order using complete 5-digit mailbox numbers. Bulk flyers for students do not need addresses.

Campus mail for another office, department or organization should be prepared and submitted as described in Chapter IV, Campus Mail System. Standard/Bulk or Presorted First Class mail should be submitted as described in Bulk Mail - Standard and Presorted First Class.

All mail must be placed at the designated Mail Stop pickup and delivery location for that building, department or organization for pickup by UWF Postal Services or it can be submitted in person at UWF Postal Services in the University Commons, Building 22, room 193 or dock area in room 190 which can be reached from parking lot K. It may also be placed in one of the blue collection boxes on campus.

Multiple identical envelopes should be submitted upright, faced (facing the same direction), sealed or open with the flaps nested against each other, and banded together if they are to be sealed and have the postage applied by the UWF Postal Services mail processors and postage meters. When planning for a large mailing remember that envelopes can have the return address and the bulk mail postage permit indicia preprinted on them by printers or letter shop vendors in order to save time.

Folded Self Mailers (tri-fold and half-fold mail pieces) are acceptable, but not recommended due to the tattered appearance, difficulty to process in high speed mail processors and the possibility of non-delivery due to the condition of the mail. When using this type of mailer the fold should be at the bottom with the opening at the top secured by tabs, wafer seals or glue. Staples are unacceptable, except on booklet spines. This type of mail cannot be sent internationally.

Self Mailers and Double Postcards must have two tabs or wafer seals on the top and should have a minimum paper weight of either 28 pounds if a single sheet, 24 pounds if multiple sheets and 75 pounds if it is a double postcard. 20-pound paper may be used for folded self-mailers or booklets if sealed with tabs or wafer seals, but this is not recommended due to flimsiness. See Self Mailer and Double Postcards (PDF) for samples.

Envelopes. Envelopes of all types, sizes and styles, including imprinted, window, bond and Kraft are available commercially, depending on your requirements.  Your print vendor can be consulted for labeling, preprinting return addresses, permit indicia, or your design and this manual should be consulted for addressing and other requirements. Delivery addresses should be applied by properly placed labels, typewriting or machine printing. The size should properly accommodate the contents, but it should be rectangular in shape. In the U.S. Postal System there are two categories of envelopes:  letter size and flats (large envelopes). Keeping your mail piece at letter size will save you money when designing mail.  Use light colored envelopes and avoid brilliant colors to prevent processing issues on U.S. Postal Service equipment.

Enclosures will determine the appropriate envelope to be used. The envelope must be one of the right size and strength keeping the enclosures firm and snug. Excessively large envelopes allow inserts to shift creating an imbalance risking obscured addresses, ripping and loss of contents. Conversely, if overstuffed, it can burst at the seams also resulting in loss. The strength should withstand the weight of the contents.

Window envelopes must have enclosures that are designed to fit so that the address appears in the window without slippage and without borders, artwork or extraneous information showing through. Staples cannot be used to hold enclosures in the envelope. There must be 1/8” clearance all around the address from the window. Use the “Tap Test” to check for slippage, tapping the envelope on all edges to detect movement of enclosures.

Although not necessary or required green diamond bordered envelopes can be used for domestic First Class mail and Red and Blue Diamond bordered envelopes can be used for international mail. All International Mail is sent Airmail.

Plain white or manila envelopes may be used for all types of mail. Padded or corrugated envelopes may be used for mail requiring some protection. UWF Postal Services does not provide envelopes, except for U. S. Postal Service Express or Priority envelopes and boxes. Stamped #10 envelopes are available for purchase by cash or check from the UWF Post Office if needed. Clasps on any envelope should be taped over.

The submitting office, department or organization must prepare packages properly. Good, rigid boxes with all flaps intact are acceptable. The container should be made of sturdy paperboard, fiberboard, wood, plastic or metal. Plastic bags and sturdy envelopes may be used up to 5 pounds. Avoid waxed, oiled or Styrofoam materials. Cushion the contents separately and securely with lightweight or shredded paper, bubble wrap, foam peanuts or similar material to protect the item and mail processing equipment from damage. 

Package Wrapping. It is preferable that wrapping be omitted if the box is an adequate container. Wrapping with Kraft-type paper, similar to the paper grocery bag, at least 60-pound basis weight may be used. Small quantities of this Kraft paper and package tape are available at the UWF Post Office free of charge.

Package Sealing. Boxes with heavy loads should be reinforced with banding about every 8 inches in all directions around the package. Package sealing tape, reinforced filament tape, reinforced Kraft paper tape, heavy staples or steel stitching or adhesive should be used to seal packages. Scotch-­‐type tape, masking tape, duct tape, paper tape, twine, cord, rope, and cellophane tape should not be used.

Package Size and Weight. Packages exceeding the domestic weight limit of 70 pounds are not mailable through UWF Postal Services or any U.S. Post Office. Packages up to 108 inches in combined length (measure longest side) plus girth (measure the distance around the thickest part) are acceptable at regular rates. A package between 108” and 130” is mailable but an oversized rate will be charged. Packages over 130 inches in length plus girth combined are not mailable.

Addressing Packages. The delivery and return address on a package should be placed lengthwise on the largest side of the package. They should be on a label or written directly on the package on one side only. A duplicate label should also be placed inside the package and on the box itself in case any wrapping is torn or unreadable. It is helpful to use a “FROM:” and “TO:” format and use a larger font for the delivery address so that it is clear where it is to be delivered. The address should conform to the addressing standards in Addressing for Success section above.

Sealing Service

UWF Postal Services can seal your standard size gummed envelopes with flaps at the top using our high-speed sealing equipment and mail processors when applying postage. The mailer must seal large, nonstandard, or bulky envelopes. For envelopes requiring automatic sealing, leave flaps open, nested into each other, and secured with a rubber band. Sealing of bulk mailing envelopes not requiring a metered postage imprint, or for envelopes which will have stamps manually applied can also be provided.

Processing and Metering Mail

Outgoing First-Class and Expedited mail is the first priority of UWF Postal Services and is processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon receipt before 2:45 PM, official First-Class Mail that is properly prepared and submitted is sorted, processed, metered and postmarked, trayed, and dispatched to the U.S. Postal Service the same day it is received by UWF Postal Services. Mail requiring more preparation will be returned to the mailer for reworking. UWF Postal Services will attempt to call the mailer named on the UWF Postal Charge Memo if there is a question or problem. Postage will be charged back to the Banner index indicated on the UWF Postal Charge Memo at the beginning of each month. If needed and under certain special circumstances a mail piece can be pre-metered and postage can be applied without having a date indicated.

Customs Forms for International Mail

The U.S. Postal Service requires that all international (including APO and FPO) mail over 13 ounces and packages must have an electronically printed online Customs Declaration Form, Form 2976 or 2976-A. The form cannot be accepted if it is handwritten. The forms can be found online. Use the Customs Forms Indicator to determine which form to use. Also, the package must be presented with the signed, dated and printed forms and a UWF Postal Charge Memo to the UWF Post Office for a postage meter strip to be applied. If help is required to complete the form a worksheet is provided on the UWF Postal Services web site. More detailed information and a guide for international mail can be found in USPS Pub 613. Call UWF Postal Services at 474-2436 with questions.

Postal Supplies

Postal supplies can be obtained from UWF Postal Services by calling 474-2436 and requesting the items needed. They will be placed into Campus Mail for distribution to the requester or can be picked up at the UWF Post Office window. Supplies available are Priority Express Mail, Priority Mail, and Global Priority Mail labels, envelopes, and boxes of all sizes, both regular and flat rate. Special Service forms for Certified Mail, Return Receipt, Registered Mail, Signature Confirmation, Insurance, and USPS Tracking forms are also available. Containers, such as tubs, one and two foot trays and covers can also be provided upon request. Small quantities of Kraft wrapping paper and sealing tape are available at the Post Office window for use at the time of mailing. Rubber stamps for regular and nonprofit bulk mailings are available for checkout and return. Mailers requiring postage stamps must provide a check or cash to the Post Office for their purchase. Stamps cannot be charged directly to University accounts. Purchasing cards cannot be accepted.

 

 

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