Latest Changes to
We've updated Postage $aver for Parcels to keep up with the latest postal changes, and made some software improvements. Here are the details. Note that each update includes all previous updates, so you only need to download and install the latest. Get the update.
Postage $aver for Parcels
What’s new in Version 3.5.3 – January 22, 2023
- The USPS January rate changes, effective January 22, are included in this update.
- USPS has issued new postage statement forms for use on and after January 22, and those forms are included in this update.
- For zone-based rates, USPS has separated the Zone 1-2 rates into separate rates for Zone 1 and Zone 2. That change is included in this update.
- USPS has made routine changes to the postal routing lists. The revised lists are included in this update.
- The software now checks to make sure the state abbreviation is valid, for better rejection of foreign addresses that have two-digit state or province codes.
- On the column identification screens, in the dropdown menus that show column names and data, the software will now remove any leading spaces so that right-justified column names or data will not "disappear" off the right edge of each dropdown box.
- We fixed a bug that sometimes provided the wrong zone for military addresses when using Parcel Select Ground.
- When the user selects the option to use serial numbers from a previous run to create tracking numbers, the tracking column dropdown list on the column identification screen will appear in section that shows information to be read from the file, instead of the section for information to be saved.
- We corrected a bug where an address correction instruction would print over the first line of the address when printing customs labels on a Zebra printer.
- For Mac users, the file is now a "universal binary" so that it will run as a native application on Apple Silicon and Intel based Macs.
- For Mac users, we improved the screen resolution to take full advantage of Mac Retina and other high resolution screens.
- We fixed several other minor bugs and added some new warnings to prevent possible setup errors.
What’s new in Version 3.5.2 – November, 2022
- Updated for November and December USPS routing changes.
- We installed a workaround to fix a problem printing postage statements that was caused by a bug in a recent release of the Mac operating system.
- We fixed a bug that affected the processing of some dBase (.dbf) mailing list files.
- We clarified the wording on some warnings to hopefully reduce confusion about what action the user should take to correct the problem that generated the warning.
What’s new in Version 3.5.1 – October 2, 2022
- Updated for USPS holiday season rate increase effective for mail sent on or after October 2, 2022.
- Updated for October USPS routing changes.
- Postage $aver for Parcels now supports Parcel Select Ground service, a bulk nonpresorted service for parcels weighing up to 70 pounds. This is essentially First Class Package service for packages heavier than one pound. (USPS has proposed merging the two services next year.) Prices are based on weight, dimensions and distance.
- For First Class Package Service and Parcel Select Ground, the postal zone on which the postage is based for each parcel will now be printed at the bottom of the shipping label.
- Added a warning if you start a new shipment without having uploaded the USPS file for the previous shipment.
- Added a hint on the Mail Preparation Instructions report on how to find daily tracking reports in your account on the USPS Business Customer Gateway.
- Clarified the Mail Preparation Instructions that no sacking is required for First Class Package Service shipments, and removed "maximum pieces in sack" from the Mail Categories screen when First Class Package Service is selected.
- Added note to the Mail Preparation Instructions advising that pieces must be separated by zone if using First Class Package Service without having been approved for electronic file submission.
- Corrected a bug that sometimes caused a negative amount to show for the "you saved" amount in the Mail Preparation Instructions report.
- Corrected a bug that sometimes showed a wrong amount for "lowest" postage when using a postage meter to pay for First Class Package Service shipments.
- Corrected a bug where zips with leading 0s could sometimes be incorrectly included in DDU pricing.
- Corrected a rounding error in some postage calculations for Bound Printed Matter.
- Corrected pricing of some origin NDC sacks.
- Corrected sorting of some domestic offshore pieces and Buffalo, NY area pieces, which follow special sorting rules.
What’s new in Version 3.4.6 – July, 2022
- Updated for USPS rate changes effective for mail sent on or after July 10, 2022.
- Updated for new postage statement forms for use for mail sent on or after July 10, 2022.
- Updated for July and August USPS routing changes.
What’s new in Version 3.4.5 – May, 2022
- Updated for June-July USPS routing changes.
What’s new in Version 3.4.4 – April 3, 2022
Important updates for Parcel Select Lightweight shippers:
- USPS has implemented dimensional surcharges for Parcel Select Lightweight parcels effective April 3, 2022, and this update includes those surcharges.
For any parcel of more than 22" on its longest side, there will be a surcharge of $2.00 - $4.00 per piece depending on the entry discount that applies to the parcel. If the parcel is entered at the DDU, the surcharge is $2. If entered at the DSCF or DNDC, the surcharge is $3. For any parcel not eligible for an entry discount, the surcharge is $4.
For any parcel over 2 cubic feet in volume, add $15 per parcel. If you enter dimensions that would cause this surcharge to be assessed, Postage $aver for Parcels will warn you before moving forward. If you are shipping parcels that would be charged this surcharge, and they are no more than 22" x 15" x 15", you can avoid the 2-cubic-foot surcharge and get faster service by using First Class Package Service instead of Parcel Select Lightweight.
- If you are shipping Parcel Select Lightweight parcels, you should check the post office options on the Mailer and Post Office screen (the second screen on the preparation wizard in Postage $aver for Parcels.) The SCF sorting center for your area (the second option) may have changed.
USPS has designated different facilities as SCFs for Parcel Select Lightweight only for several dozen areas, based on those facilities having certain parcel sorting equipment.
If one of the newly-designated facilities is nearby, you may save postage and get better delivery by taking your Parcel Select Lightweight shipments to that SCF facility.
But if the facility you have been using is no longer the SCF for your area, you will no longer earn the SCF discount unless you go to the newly-designated facility. Similarly, if a newly-designated SCF serves part of the area previously served by the SCF you have been using, you will lose the SCF discount for those zips now served by the other SCF.
This change replaces the change that occurred in January, where some SCF facilities handled 5-digit sacks, while others handled SCF-level sacks. That proved too difficult for USPS to implement (and confusing), so USPS reverted that change.
Note that this change only applies to Parcel Select Lightweight. So if you are in an affected area, you will see a different SCF location listed depending on whether you have selected Parcel Select Lightweight or another service, since the SCFs for BPM and Marketing Mail have not changed for now.
Confused about this change? Feel free to ask us.
- When originally announced in January, the new SCFs for Parcel Select Lightweight only applied to shipments of machinable parcels. Effective April 3, they apply to irregular parcels as well.
- Updated for April and May USPS routing changes.
- The drop-down lists on the Column Matching screen now automatically get wider so as not chop off the contents of a column, to make it easier to correctly identify columns with similar titles.
- On the Mail Categories screen (the first screen in the Wizard), we combined the "add penalty" and "eVS" checkboxes into a set of buttons that also show Tracking Certification as an option, to clarify the USPS approval options required when sending parcels. If you previously had "add penalty" or "eVS" checked, that option will automatically be selected in the "USPS Approval" panel. If neither was checked, Tracking Certification will automatically be selected.
What’s new in Version 3.4.3 – January 9, 2022
- Updated for USPS postage rate increases for First Class Package Service and Parcel Select Lightweight, effective 1/9/22.
- Updated with new USPS postage statements dated January, 2022.
- For Parcel Select Lightweight machinable parcels, USPS is adding a new SCF-level sort for pieces shipped from an SCF facility to addresses handled by that facility. This could affect you if you are shipping a lot of parcels within your SCF's service area.
These sacks will be priced at DSCF entry prices, which are lower than the mixed or NDC sack rates you would otherwise pay. You might also see better delivery times for those sacks.
We have updated the software to include this change, and the SCF-level sacks will be prepared whenever allowed
- This change has been reverted by USPS effective April 3, 2022. See Version 3.4.4 above for details.
For some areas, USPS has designated alternate facilities as SCFs just for Parcel Select Lightweight machinable parcels. If you are in one of those areas, you will see an additional option on the list of post office types on the second screen of the preparation wizard in Postage Saver for Parcels. This added option will be listed as a "parcel SCF sorting center".
Here's where it gets complicated. These additional locations can accept the new SCF-level sacks, but cannot accept 5-digit sacks that can be prepared for the regular SCF. So whether you'd save money using these new facilities depends on how your list sorts out.
If the new location is convenient to you, we suggest you select it and run your list through the software to see if you save any money by using that option, compared to the location from which you have been mailing.
Note that this choice only matters if you see two different SCF centers on the list of locations on the second screen of the sort wizard. If USPS has not provided an alternate location for your area, and you are shipping from the SCF facility for your area, the software will automatically give you all the discounts that apply.
Yes, this has been confusing to us too. Feel free to contact us if you have questions and we'll do our best to help.
- USPS Tracking Plus (aka Premium Tracking) has been expanded to all categories of shipments supported by Postage $aver for Parcels, and the software has been updated to support this change. USPS Tracking Plus is a service where, on request, tracking information and signatures will be available from USPS for longer than the standard length of time. To use USPS Tracking Plus, it must be purchased when the piece is shipped. A fee is charged as part of the postage.
- Updated for January and February USPS routing changes.
- We fixed a minor bug that printed "SCF" at the beginning of the entry location shown on the qualification report and the sack tags.
- We fixed a bug that caused SCF sacks to be created when shipping from an Auxiliary Service Facility (ASF), which is not allowed by the rules.
- We fixed a bug that limited DDU entry discounts to shipments of 50 or more DDU pieces, which is not required by the rules.
We hope you find these improvements helpful. Many of "our" best ideas come from our users, so please don't hesitate to let us know if you have suggestions or questions.