Businesses looking to qualify for Commercial Based Pricing must ensure all packages bear an Intelligent Mail packaging barcode (IMpb) as of Jan. 25, according to BizReport. This week marks the end of the transition period to IMpb, and those who may have been out of the loop will potentially see their shipping costs increase.
The packages that require an IMpb are priority mail and priority express mail, first-class package services, parcel select and parcel select lightweight, bound printed matter, and library mail.
Several companies supply IMpb-compliant software including Pitney Bowes, Endicia, and Bell and Howell. BizReport explained that the IMpb requires a specific label with customized barcodes to be printed. The software simplifies the preparation of labels and tracking ability by handling all USPS reports and electronic files.
In addition to better tracking, the IMpb codes create other benefits for businesses. The packages will have free insurance of up to $50 for priority mail and $100 for priority mail express, as well as a lower cost of 5-50 percent depending on weight, distance shipped and class.
On Jan. 5, the United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx switched to a new shipping system where package pricing is based on dimension. Rather than pricing by weight, retailers are required to multiply the length of the box by its height and width and then divide the number by 166 to find its dimensional weight.
The decision was made to persuade retailers to use smaller boxes for goods that would have otherwise been unnecessarily put into oversized boxes.