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The USPS and YOU

Postal mail continues to be a major factor in the US economy and direct mail continues to grow at ±3% every year. So it's clear that there is still a lot of interest in receiving hard copy.

We hope this page will help make it easy for you to find USPS subjects of interest. We'll also include links to closely affiliated topics.

If you have a favorite link related to the USPS, please let us know. We may wish to include it here. We envelope manufacturers are vitally interested in your thoughts, and, through our trade organization, The Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA), perhaps even have a way of expressing those thoughts in a way that might have a chance of being heard in DC. As a former Chairman of the EMA, I can assure you that your input is important.

Thank you,

Linc Spaulding, CEO
Sheppard Envelope Mfg. Co.
Auburn, MA 01501


For a comprehensive search of USPS Mail Preparation Information,
click on
Postal Explorer

Source: "Postal Partner News", First Quarter 2012

#1: The USPS has unsustainable losses.

#2: The USPS can only increase its rates at the rate of inflation; if they go beyond that rate, mail volume drops exponentially (that is, more than the revenue gained by the increased cost of postage).

#3: They have a huge fixed cost base comprising a labor force that represents 80 percent of all costs. Only 20 percent of USPS costs vary with changes in volume.

#4: Over 50 percent of the USPS workforce is eligible for retirement, however, the issue then becomes one of getting its workforce to retire. Furthermore, 50 percent of labor force costs are made up of benefits, so that when a worker retires the USPS realizes a savings of only half of what they paid that worker for full-time employment. Some of these costs are legacy costs which makes dramatic change much more important.

#5: Spiralling health care costs for existing employees and pensioners (i.e. legacy costs) force the need for dramatic change now.



USPS' Discontinuation of Saturday Mail Delivery has been suspended due to a bill that, if signed, would mandate continuation of 6-day delivery.

Both houses of Congress passed this legislation and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.
Stay tuned.


Source: ""

USPS Rate Increases (effective Jan. 26, 2014):

  • Letters (1 oz): 49¢
  • Letters, additional ounces: unchanged at 21¢
  • Postcards: 34¢
  • Letters to international destinations: $1.15.



Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) Required now for automation discounts

The USPS now requires IMb "for all automation price eligibility". Also, in January 2014, automation discounts will only apply to IMb's that are "Full Service" (requirement affects outgoing mail only, not reply mail). You may still use POSTNET for BRM, CRM, MRM, however, it is strongly recommended to make the switch over to the Intelligent Mail Barcode as soon as possible. Especially if you want to take advantage of discounts associated with Qualified Business Reply Mail.

Please check out the following links to important information from the United States Postal Service about the IMb and its use.

Getting Started with IMb (PDF)
USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode Resource Guide (PDF)


Envelope Manufacturers Assocation logo News........................................................

Sheppard Envelope Company announces
Certified Postal Partner on staff

EMA Certified Postal Partner Logo

As of July 2011, Sheppard Envelope Prepress Technician Craig Weinreich has been designated by the Envelope Manufacturer's Association (EMA) as an EMA Certified Postal Partner (CPP). This certification means that Mr. Weinreich may help you, the mailpiece designer, develope a mailpiece that will meet USPS requirements for mailing accuracy.

If you are in the process of creating artwork for a mailpiece envelope that Sheppard Envelope will be imprinting and need some guidance, you may reach Craig Weinreich, CPP, at 800-325-6622, or via email at You may also check out the helpful links mentioned above under "USPS Mailing and Related Information".




EMA Management Information Briefings

February 29, 2012
May 31, 2011
May 15, 2011
December 15, 2010