[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 143 (Wednesday, July 25, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43561-43562]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18085]



39 CFR Part 111

Proposed Eligibility Criteria for Bound Printed Matter Parcels

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is considering the adoption of a new 
criterion for eligibility of Bound Printed Matter (BPM) parcels by 
adding a physical density threshold for individual mailpieces.

DATES: Comments on this advance notice are due September 10, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Product 
Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 4446, 
Washington, DC 20260-5015. You may inspect and photocopy all written 
comments at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
11th Floor North, Washington, DC, by appointment only between the hours 
of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 1-202-268-2906 in 
advance for an appointment. Email comments, containing the name and 
address of the commenter, may be sent to: [email protected], 
with a subject line of ``New Eligibility for BPM Parcels.'' Faxed 
comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kayla Dobbs at 202-268-6753, or Wm. 
Kevin Gunther at 202-268-7208.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BPM parcels is an economical ground-based 
product containing qualifying bound printed matter, weighing no more 
than 15 pounds and requiring postage payment by permit imprint. BPM is 
primarily used by commercial shippers who do not require expedited 
delivery. This product is not available for purchase at Post 
OfficeTM retail units and is not typically used by non-
business mailers.
    Statutory requirements under title 39, U.S. Code, require that each 
class of mail or type of mail service bear the direct and indirect 
costs attributable to that class or service. In this regard, the Postal 
Service expenses related to the BPM parcel product continues to exceed 
the revenues generated by its sales. In fiscal year 2011, BPM parcels 
realized a 98.8% cost coverage.
    Greater efficiency in the packaging of BPM parcels will provide for 
more expedient handling of BPM parcels and will contribute to the cost 
coverage of the BPM product. To that end, the Postal Service is 
considering the implementation of a new minimum mailpiece density 
requirement for BPM parcels, with an effective date targeted for July, 
    Less densely prepared parcels also tend to result in a higher 
incidence of conveyance problems on automated

[[Page 43562]]

parcels processing equipment, increasing the need for extra handling.
    If the Postal Service proceeds with its plan to adopt a new density 
eligibility requirement for BPM parcels, parcels will be required to 
meet or exceed the minimum physical density threshold to qualify for 
BPM parcel pricing. The proposed density requirement will not be 
applicable to Bound Printed Matter flats.
    The principal intent of the Postal Service in proposing this new 
requirement is to provide guidance for mailers to improve the 
efficiency and effectiveness in the packaging of BPM parcels. The 
Postal Service also hopes to provide a mechanism for mailers to self-
regulate the content of BPM parcels, as books and similar printed 
matter are naturally dense products.
    To calculate density, first the length, height and width of each 
parcel is measured in inches, and then multiplied to obtain cubic 
inches. To determine the volume in cubic feet, the cubic inches product 
is then divided by 1,728 (cubic inches in a cubic foot). The weight of 
the mailpiece, in pounds, is then divided by the product of the prior 
calculation (the mailpiece volume in cubic feet) to yield a density 
value of the parcel, measured in pounds/cubic foot. For example, the 
density of a BPM parcel weighing 10 pounds and measuring 12 inches in 
length, 8 inches in height, 10 inches in width, would have a density of 
approximately 17.9 pounds/cubic foot, calculated as follows: 12 x 8 x 
10 = 960 cubic inches, 960/1728 = .56 cubic feet, 10/.56 = 17.9 pounds/
cubic foot. If this standard is adopted, to be eligible for BPM 
pricing, parcels must demonstrate a density of at least 10.0 pounds/
cubic foot. BPM parcels with densities under 10.0 pounds/cubic foot 
would not be eligible for BPM parcel pricing. When parcels intended for 
mailing at BPM prices are identified as falling below the minimum 
density threshold, the mailer will be provided with the option either 
to repackage the contents more efficiently to meet the minimum density 
requirement, or mail the item using another mail class as applicable.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Legal Policy & Legislative Advice.
[FR Doc. 2012-18085 Filed 7-24-12; 8:45 am]