The USPS APV Program and what it means for you
The United States Postal Service (USPS) introduced a new Postal system on August 15, 2017 known as the Automated Package Verification (APV), which has restructured some aspects of the postal system. New, more efficient methods of handling and delivery of domestic packages have been established by USPS, and go into effect for all Postal Service providers since the effective date. It is important to note however, that APV is not applicable to letters, large envelopes and certified mail, but only has domestic packages in its mandate.
The introduction of APV was focused on categorizing the shipment according to its physical properties and mailing attributes- weight, size, packaging, and origin, after which it determines the postage that is to be paid accordingly. In the case of a discrepancy with the attributes provided at the time of shipping, the USPS will generate an Adjustment Transaction with regard to the postage paid to your postal account balance. This adjustment can be both a credit (if you paid more for the shipment) or a debit (if the amount paid was less than the shipment cost) in nature.
APV greatly improves customer experience by amending the postage system. Prior to the introduction of APV, a package with inadequate postage was returned to the sender due to underpayment. In some cases, the beneficiary was required to pay the remaining amount, which was inconvenient for most customers, creating dissatisfaction in customers for the postal system. APV aims to provide a much better customer experience by putting an end to underpayment complications and discrepancies. The adjustment made in underpayment is also applicable in the case of overpayment. Before APV, if you had overpaid for a package, the remaining balance was kept by the USPS. However, with the new and improved system, the remaining balance is credited to your postal account, providing a better customer experience for you.
Moreover, APV will not have a major effect on the bulk of the customers. Since the online software that manages the postal system is the same, there is virtually no difference in the way you send or receive packages; the changes are experienced on the USPS’s end and not the customer’s end. The only difference that you will experience, being a customer, is a smoother postage system, which makes it easier to deal with discrepancies in shipping charges. For OrderCup USPS customers, once these USPS APV Adjustment transactions will manifest themselves as Adjustment transactions in your Master Shipping Account (MSA), either as a debit in the case of an underpayment and as a credit in the case of overpayment. USPS will require of OrderCup and OrderCup of all it’s users that they acknowledge and agree to the new APV terms and conditions in order to continue using OrderCup’s discounted USPS shipping. Users should also be diligent with respect to entering weights and dimensions of their packages to avoid being impacted by Adjustment transactions.
Furthermore, it is natural to be concerned about whether the adjustments are correct. For this purpose, we insure transparency in its postage adjustments, by posting them back to your MSA Account on a per shipment basis, and the adjustment will provide details on the discrepancy found by APV. It can take the USPS up to 30 days to issue adjustments; however most adjustments will be made within a week or so. If you have further questions, please contact our Support team.