Automated Package Verification
Save Time by Doing It Right
To continue offering an affordable and efficient shipping experience, USPS® has streamlined how postage is checked on packages with Click-N-Ship® and PC Postage® labels. We've provided some tips below on best practices for improving your shipping procedures and how to calculate postage correctly, so you're not overpaying or underpaying.
How to Calculate Postage Correctly
Weigh Your Item and Round Up
USPS rounds up to either the next pound (lb) or ounce (oz). For example, if your package weighs 3 lbs 5 oz, it would be charged at the 4 lb-rate. If you have an item for shipping by First-Class Package® service that weighs 7.3 oz, it must be charged at the 8 oz-rate. This applies to all mail classes—domestic and international.
Select the Right Mail Class
For example, First-Class Package® service can only be used for packages under 15.999 oz; anything over the weight limit must be shipped with Priority Mail® service. And domestic Regional Rate Boxes A and B have 15 and 20 lbs limits respectively.
Measure Your Package
Measure the length, width, and height of the package. Dimensional (DIM) weight may also apply to your packaging. DIM weight is determined by multiplying a package's length, width, and height and applying a volumetric divisor.1 DIM weight = Length X Width X Height ÷ 194.
Label Your Package Correctly
USPS provides a wide range of shipping options to help you meet your mailing needs. Make sure that the label you are using matches the packaging. For example, if you are using a Flat Rate box, you should also use a Flat Rate label. Or anything shipped in Priority Mail packaging requires a Priority Mail label. Also, ensure you place the label on the long side of the box. Labels should not wrap over the ends or edges and all barcodes should face up in the same direction.
Double-Check the Zone
If you are using PC Postage software, verify that the origin address (or "sent from") is up to date before printing the label. Please note, USPS charges by zones. To get a zone chart for your ZIP Code™ use the Postal Calculator.
About Automated Package VerificationExpand All
How did USPS streamline the automated package verification process?
We've invested in new technologies that automatically detect and correct package postage overpayments or underpayments, bringing USPS in line with industry standards.
How does this improve the manual postage due process?
USPS relies heavily on a manual postage due process. Mail with postage discrepancies is either returned to the senders/shipper to be corrected or delivered to its destination for the recipient/customer to pay the postage due. This process may delay shipments and/or your customer/recipient may have to pay extra, unexpected postage, which erodes the quality of the customer experience.
Why did USPS implement Automated Package Verification process?
Implementing Automated Package Verification process helped us ensure we can maintain the most competitive and economical shipping prices for our customers.
Who is impacted by this process?
USPS has implemented this process across Click-N-Ship and PC Postage platforms.
How will I be notified?
USPS notifies shippers through Click-N-Ship and PC Postage platforms when differences in package characteristics are detected that result in significant price differences. USPS has begun making postage payment adjustments for affected items and these pieces are no longer subjected to the manual postage due process. Payment adjustments are facilitated through Click-N-Ship and PC Postage platforms.
How accurate is the Automated Package Verification process?
The state-of-the-art mail processing network has been extensively tested and is comparable to what is used across the shipping industry. The equipment is checked daily for calibration to ensure we get the most accurate information that will help us to best streamline your shipping experience.
Who do I contact with questions?
If you have questions about your notice or Automated Package Verification, please email email@example.com. For any questions about your account, please contact your PC Postage provider directly.
When does a postage difference occur?
Generally, a postage difference occurs when the package characteristics (e.g., weight, dimensions, zone, etc.) used when the Click-N-Ship or PC Postage label is created does not match measurements of the actual package mailed as captured by USPS processing equipment. The most common reasons that result in a different mail class or rating category include:
- Incorrect weight on label resulting in a price difference due to different rating or exceeding limitations for the class chosen.
- Incorrect dimensions versus those of the actual package shipped.
- Incorrect service or packaging entered for label creation versus actual service/packaging material used (e.g., First-Class™ labels cannot be used on Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express® packaging).
How long do I have to submit a dispute?
You have 60 days from the date of the notification to file a dispute for a given transaction.
How can I check the status of my dispute?
Most responses can be expected in 2-5 business days, and at most, 15 business days. The status of your dispute claim is available from your PC Postage provider and may be updated daily.
When will I receive my refund?
If your dispute is upheld, you may be due a refund. All payments are processed by your PC Postage provider on behalf of USPS, so please reach out to your PC Postage provider directly for questions regarding billing or your account.