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Internal Audit Office

Kansas State University
5 Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-0118



Central Mail Service

Chapter 7825
Revised November 16, 1998

Table of Contents

.010 Procedures for Using Central Mail Service
.020 Sorting, Receiving, Distribution
.030 Campus Mail Preparation
.040 Metered Mail
.045 Permit Mailings
.050 International Mail
.060 United States Mail (Domestic)
.070 United Parcel Service (UPS)
.071 Hazardous Material Packages
.080 Sealing and Bundling
.090 Using the Contract Post Office at Dykstra Hall
.095 Federal Express (now FedEx)
.100 Most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
.110 Questions
Related Content
.200 Building/Department Sorting Breakdown Attachment
.300 Shipping Request Form or the new Shipping Label
.010 Procedures for Using Central Mail Service

The Division of Facilities provides a Central Mail Service to sort, receive, distribute, and meter first class, international, book rate, certified, registered, insured mail, UPS and FedEx, and hazardous materials for University business mail. All of these services are charged back to the department's meter account number.

Each building receiving Federal and campus mail delivery is provided with a standard mail box by Central Mail Services. The location of the box will be determined cooperatively by Central Mail Services and the Manhattan Post Office. In most instances, the box will be located with the following criteria in mind:

  • Most accessible ground floor entrance to the building.
  • Any steps that may need to be considered in the delivery objective.
  • Fire safety codes.
  • Parking and traffic patterns (both vehicular and pedestrian) that would impact accessibility.

Campus carriers pick up and deliver mail twice daily. Mail is sorted by department, then delivered to each building and deposited at the specific drop area. CAMPUS MAIL DELIVERY IS FOR BUSINESS MAIL ONLY. All outgoing mail is metered, and charged to the assigned meter account number listed in the upper left corner of the envelope. Use of the metering service for personal mailing is prohibited. Personal-appearing mail will be returned to the department.

Packages Exceeding 70 Pound Weight Limit: Central Mail Service will pick up packages over 70 pounds if special arrangements have been made through the CMS supervisor. We strongly advise packing packages at 70 pounds or under to make them easier to handle. If this is out of the question, please call and let CMS know these packages are over the weight limit. We will then make arrangements to handle these packages at our discretion for same day shipment. Arrangements must be made with CMS by 12:00 p.m. for shipment out the same day.

The Contract Post Office provides all the services a regular post office provides. It is for personal purchase of postage, money orders, and philatelic products, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is closed on all holidays.

Correct addressing of campus mail is imperative for prompt delivery and receipt. The following format should be used on campus mail to ensure accurate delivery. Legibly print on the envelope:

Addressee's Name
Department Name
Building Name
 .020 Sorting, Receiving, and Distribution

Central Mail Services provides one sort for every major department within a college or division. Departments may request additional sorting breakdowns for a monthly fee of $20.00 per sort. A prerequisite for approval of an additional breakdown is a clear, identifiable name to sort by. It is the requesting department's responsibility to notify mailers of the correct campus address to use on mail being sent to them.

Central Mail carriers leave at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to pick up interdepartmental (campus) outgoing, metered and stamped mail to be sorted, processed, and dispatched daily.

To ensure that your campus, stamped, and metered mail is processed properly, please comply with the following instructions:

  1. Use brown, preprinted, campus mail envelopes whenever possible for interdepartmental correspondence.
  2. When addressing campus mail, fill in all lines. Improperly prepared campus mail will either be returned to the sender or sent to the look-up clerk for processing. A delay does occur depending on the amount of mail. See Attachment 200 for a list of departmental sorting breakdowns for each building.
  3. Drop outgoing mail into the proper compartment (Campus, Metered, or Stamped) of the dispatch box in your building. Do not mix together these types of mailings. Doing so will delay your mail!
  4. Be sure to sort campus mail for in-house delivery within your own building. Depositing this mail into campus mail boxes for redelivery back to point of origin is very inefficient and causes needless delays.
  5. To speed delivery time of incoming Federal mail, include your name, department, building, and correct Zip+4 code in the return address of all outgoing correspondence. If you don't know your Zip+4 code, contact Central Mail Services at 2-7751.
  6. When you have unusually large mailings, call Central Mail Services at 2-7751 so we can make efficient handling arrangements.

Nixie mail (Federal mail lacking a building name) is received by Central Mail Services, sorted, and dispatched with campus mail, creating a delay. Departments should complete Change of Address cards, provided by Central Mail Services, to correct addresses on this type of mail. First class mail can be forwarded at no charge to the department. Second-class can be forwarded as well. Non-profit, or bulk rate will be sent back to the department. The department can then add postage and send on to addressee, or dispose of that mail internally. If you have problems on a continuous basis with any type of mail, please call CMS at 2-7751.

.030 Campus Mail Preparation

When preparing a mass mailing for distribution around campus, please follow these steps:

  1. Print address labels in departmental order.
  2. Band together individually named departmental mail and stack neatly into trays or tubs. These are provided by Central Mail upon request. MASS MAILINGS NOT MEETING THIS REQUIREMENT WILL BE RETURNED FOR COMPLIANCE.

Following the above steps will increase the speed and efficiency of our handling processes.

CAUTION: Submitting a mass campus mailing in alphabetical order by individual name delays the SORTING and DISTRIBUTION time.

.040 Metered Mail

(Official university business related mail leaving campus that requires postage.) All letter sized metered mail should be placed in official white or manilla envelopes with complete "to" and "from" addresses shown.

The department's Meter Account Number is to be printed, stamped, or written on each package, large or overstuffed envelope, or international mail, to ensure that postage is charged back to the proper department. MAIL RECEIVED WITHOUT A METER ACCOUNT NUMBER ON IT WILL BE SENT BACK TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR IDENTIFICATION. MAIL RECEIVED WITH A WRONG METER ACCOUNT NUMBER OR A NUMBER THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO THE RETURN ADDRESS AS SHOWN WILL BE RETURNED FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION. Each department is responsible for the proper use of their own Meter Account Number. If a number is used without authorization, or if pre-printed envelopes are used by unauthorized persons, Central Mail Services is NOT responsible. Please see our authorization form to authorize someone to use your meter account number.

All outgoing, sealed, metered mail of uniform size envelopes should be banded in both directions before mailing. Do not band envelopes of different thicknesses together. This could cause incorrect postage to be applied to some of the envelopes, ultimately delaying delivery.

.045 Permit Mailings

Permit imprints indicate that the postage has been paid according to the permit imprint system. These mailings MUST be taken to the Post Office that issued the permit. These mailings MUST have a minimum of 200 pieces and each piece MUST be identical in size and weight. Central Mail Services will automatically return these mailings to the department for proper handling. Departments may want to call Central Mail at 2-7751 or Printing Services at 2-6308 for more information before sending over for processing.

.050 International Mail

ALL LETTER SIZE MAIL MUST BE PUT INTO ENVELOPES IN PREPARATION FOR INTERNATIONAL MAILING. Using airmail envelopes with the blue and red border will ensure that proper postage will be applied. These envelopes are available through K-State Printing Services, 532-6308.

Separate International Mail from Domestic Mail (Canada and Mexico are considered International). If you do not separate it, it may receive improper postage and be returned to you. Use of airmail envelopes will prevent this from happening.

Post Cards, both Domestic and International, can be no smaller than 3 1/2 inches X 5 inches or larger than 4 1/4 inches X 6 inches.

Identify foreign packages or boxes by writing or stamping the appropriate classification on the article to be mailed. Unmarked mail will be returned to the department for proper identification. Classifications are as follows:

A. Air Mail

Classification of article to be mailed:

(personal correspondence, cards)

(publications, magazines that do not contain personal correspondence)

(clothes, shoes, gifts)

Each Air Mail classification normally takes 7 to 10 days to reach its destination.

NOTE: Letter class (personal correspondence, cards) CANNOT be enclosed or attached to parcel post. If letter class matter is contained, the higher rate applies.

B. Surface (Boat) Mail

Classification of article to be mailed:

(personal correspondence, cards)

(publications, magazines, books that do not contain personal correspondence)

(clothes, shoes, gifts)

Surface Mail takes 4 to 6 weeks to reach its destination.
Central Mail employees will not send anything by surface unless indicated by the department.

NOTE: The United States Postal Service discontinued the Airmail Book Rate classification. Books to be shipped via Airmail should be marked "Airmail Printed Matter".

Letters to Canada and Mexico require slightly higher postage than 1st class letters within the United States.

There is a four-pound and eleven-pound weight limit on International First Class and Printed Matter depending on country destination. Catalogs and directories may weigh up to 11 pounds. Mail sent by various classes requires a Customs Form completed and signed by someone in the department. Customs Forms are available upon request. Please call us before mailing your package if you do not know if a Customs Form is required.

.060 United States Mail (Domestic)

Band together like-sized envelopes of the same thickness to be metered.

A. Mark each parcel and large envelope according to the following classifications:

(personal correspondence, letters, cards) 2 - 3 day delivery objective

(clothing, gifts, shoes) 3 - 5 day delivery objective, depending on distance traveled

(for books only) 5 - 7 day delivery objective depending on distance traveled

(books, printed music, sound recordings coming from and going to educational institutions) 5 - 7 day delivery objective depending on distance traveled

(anything other than 1st class metered weighing 10 ounces or more) 1 - 5 day delivery objective depending on distance traveled

B. Unmarked mail will be sent FIRST CLASS or UPS depending on weight and cost efficiency.

C. Weight and size limits
     Maximum weight per package, 70 pounds.
     Maximum size per package - 108 inches in length and girth combined.
     Minimum size per package or letter - 3 1/2 inches x 5 inches. 

NOTE: First Class vs. Standard (A) or Standard (B) - It is often better to send Standard (A) or 
Standard (B) mail by First Class if it weighs 11 ounces or less because 11 ounces of First Class costs the same as 11 ounces of Standard (A) or Standard (B).

.070 United Parcel Service (UPS)

This service, provided by Central Mail, helps departments reduce postage costs without delaying service. All non-First Class packages weighing 10 ounces or more generally qualify for UPS, costing less to mail than if sent at USPS rates.

Book and Library rates are still less expensive than UPS rates. Indicate on packages if being sent by Book or Library rate to avoid overpayment of postage. The shipping request form is required on all packages unless using the new KSU mailing label, ordered from Printing Services. Hazardous material packages are treated individually.

UPS does not deliver to a post office box number, so be sure to include the actual street address. If your parcel is shipped via UPS with any part of the address incorrect or UPS has to complete the address, additional expense may be incurred, which will be charged to the department. Indicate the value of each item mailed by UPS if the value is over $100, so the correct postage can be charged.

No additional preparation by departments is required. Central Mail will determine which is the most cost effective way to send your packages. In some cases, UPS delivers packages faster than the United States Postal Service. UPS Next Day Guaranteed Services and 2nd Day, 3 Day Select, and Ground are available to all departments. (Central Mail is bound by state contract to use whichever overnight service carries the contract.) All Ground packages are guaranteed delivery. CMS can now confirm how many days it will take from one destination to another.

NOTE: If a tracer is required on a lost package sent by UPS, departments need to supply Central Mail with the following information:

* Date package was sent.
* Zip code sending to.
* Meter account number package was charged to.

Central Mail retains all other information needed to file a tracer or claim and will assist departments in doing so.

Weight and Size Limits
Maximum weight per package - 70 pounds.
Maximum size per package - 130 inches in length and girth combined, with a maximum length of 108 inches per package.

NOTE: All packages need to be in a strong box with ONE LABEL ONLY and a return address. A checklist for good packaging is:

Rigid carton with flaps intact.
Items wrapped separately.
Adequate cushioning material.
Strong tape designed for shipping.
No string or paper overwrap.
Single address label.
A clear, complete delivery address.
A clear, complete return address.
Duplicate label inside carton.

UPS does not allow duct tape, masking tape, or scotch tape and no packages wrapped in paper, no strings, and no straps.

NOTE: If your package is going UPS and has insurance on it over $500.00, it will automatically be shipped Ground.

.071 Hazardous Material Packages

All hazardous material packages must be accompanied by a shipping request form and MSDS sheet, if available. All information on the shipping request form must be filled out correctly or the package will be returned to the department for correct information. Customers are urged to contact the department of Environmental Health and Safety (2-5856) or Central Mail Services (2-7751) for correct classification and packaging instructions to ensure proper procedures are followed during the preparation. These packages must be brought to CMS by 9:00 a.m. with all documentation for shipping out the same day.

.080 Sealing and Bundling

All mail is to be put in envelopes in preparation for mailing. Metering and sorting machines can destroy mail that is not closed on all sides. New postal regulations are starting to restrict mailings not enclosed in envelopes.

Bundle regular letter-size unsealed envelopes with the flaps up if you would like us to seal them for you. The equipment will not seal them if the flaps are down.

Face all envelopes the same way in a bundle for easier and faster metering.

Seal all overstuffed envelopes. The equipment cannot do an effective job of sealing large or overstuffed envelopes more than 1/4 inch in thickness.

Seal all manila envelopes.

.090 Using the Contract Post Office at Dykstra Hall

For your personal needs, Central Mail Services operates a Federal contract post office which can be used by all faculty, staff, and students.

Services provided include:

Registered mailPadded bags
Postal money ordersDomestic Express
Post cardsCertificates of mailing
International mailBooks of stamps
Certified mailEnvelopes
Return receiptsInternational Express
Rolls of stamps 
Pricing and zip code information over the phone
Size and weight limit information, both Domestic and International

Incoming accountable mail (certified, registered, and insured) is delivered to your departmental offices by Central Mail Staff.

Business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Contract Post Office is closed on weekends and holidays.

.095 Federal Express (now FedEx) (Domestic and International)

FedEx is a beneficial service for our customers since they hold the state contract for overnight delivery service. This gives Central Mail a third vendor opportunity for price shopping for the best rates for our customers. This service helps departments reduce postage costs and speeds up delivery time.

In order to get you the best possible price, please give us a call at 2-7751 before you get your package ready so we may provide instructions for shipping.

Packaging does make a difference in the price of a FedEx package. Your material should be put in FedEx packaging with the address label complete with both a "to" and "from" address. Your meter account number should be placed below the return address, and the item placed in the metered mail slot.FedEx does not deliver to a post office box number, so be sure to include the actual street address. If a street address and telephone number are not given, an address correction charge may be incurred, which will be charged back to the department. Indicate the value of your item to be mailed if you want the item to be insured.

Weight and size limits:
Maximum weight per package - 70 pounds
Maximum size per package - 165 inches in length and girth combined, with a maximum length of 117 inches.

.100 Most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q When do the carriers leave to deliver and pick up mail on campus? A The carriers leave at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., with a late afternoon pick up at Anderson Hall at 3:30 p.m. Pick up times at buildings can vary due to quantity of mail. Be sure all mail is at your dispatch box by the pick-up times listed on the box.

Q What are the service objectives for delivery of campus mail? A All campus mail received during the morning run is processed and delivered by the afternoon run. Mail received during the afternoon run is processed and delivered the next business morning, on the 10:00 a.m. mail run.

Q Does Central Mail Services deliver campus mail to the dormitories? A Yes. Use the complete address on your envelopes and keep dormitory mail banded separately. Postage is not required, so remember not to mix it together with the metered mail.

Q Does United Parcel Service (UPS) benefit the University? A Yes it does. Not only will delivery times be comparable to the USPS, the cost is less too. Central Mail is pleased to offer UPS on a campus-wide basis.

Q What is the deadline for sending something out by USPS Express Mail and UPS Next Day or 2nd Day Guarantee or 3rd Day Select? A The Manhattan Post Office picks up Express Mail from us at 3:00 p.m. each day. UPS picks up all packages by 4:30 p.m.

Q If a department misses the afternoon pick up and has some mail that must go out that same day, what can be done? A Bring it to the Mail Processing Center behind Dykstra Hall by 4:00 p.m. Mail received after 4:00 p.m. may be handled the next business day, depending on quantity. Central Mail will process as much of this late mail for same day service as possible. Call 2-7751 for directions to the Mail Processing Center.

Q Are overnight air services offered by Central Mail affected in any way when state contracted overnight services are put into effect? A NO.

Q Why is Federal mail delivered through campus mail? A Because it is improperly addressed. Incoming Federal mail should contain your department and building name as part of the address for it to be delivered by the USPS.

By having correct return addresses, extra handling processes are eliminated allowing mail to reach you faster. Contact Central Mail Services for Change of Address cards for correspondents, publishers, and businesses.

Q Are the departments supposed to call Central Mail Services when they have an unusually large amount of outgoing mail? A Please do! This will give our distribution staff time to make special arrangements for pick up.

Q Should metered mail be bundled by size and weight, or just thrown into the box? A To ensure prompt service, please take the time to bundle all "like" mail with a rubber band and stack it neatly into appropriate trays or boxes. Letter trays and tubs for your outgoing metered mail are available upon request.

Q What advantages and benefits are there in using Central Mail's metering service instead of applying our own stamps? A Metered mail travels through the Federal mail stream faster than stamped mail by avoiding the facing and cancellation process.

Eliminates the need for departments to pay lease, rental and maintenance fees for expensive metering equipment, therefore offering a more cost effective method of handling your mail.

Frees up clerical staff to do other projects instead of metering and processing mail.

Mail is accountable through one source, which makes handling, processing and tracking much more convenient for departments.

Central Mail Services assumes all responsibility for the proper dispatch of your metered mail which eliminates the need for departments to deal with the United States Postal Service.

Q If I am more careful about addressing the campus mail, will it get delivered faster? A Yes, and to help you out, Central Mail redesigned the campus mail envelope to allow for more address information. Remember, always use full names of recipient, departments, and building when preparing campus mail.

Q Can campus mail be used for personal correspondence? A Use of campus mail for personal reasons is prohibited. Example: Christmas or birthday cards, party invitations, etc.

Q How should mail to be delivered to Jardine Terrace be addressed? A Use the complete address including Manhattan, KS 66502. Postage must be paid since Central Mail Service carriers do not deliver to this off-campus area.

Q How should mail to be delivered to the dorms be addressed? A Place into campus mail envelopes and address it like you would campus mail. Postage is not required so be sure to keep it separate from metered mail.

Q Why does metered mail sometimes get returned to departments for postage? A If letters get mixed with already stamped mail or if the metering machines process two letters at once and it is not caught by Central Mail employees, mail will be returned. The percentage of return mail is minimal compared to the thousands of pieces processed each day. Central Mail continually strives to prevent return mail from happening.

Q A lot has been said about the advantages of using Zip+4. Will K-State be able to adopt this service? A Yes. Departments need to begin correcting all mailing lists and adding the appropriate +4 code to each Zip. We have a service which will help most everyone accomplish this. Call us at 2-7751 for further information.

New Zip+4 codes for KSU buildings and departments are now in effect. Be sure to include them on all correspondence so return mail reaches you faster.

Central Mail Services encourages everyone to make this commitment. Advantages are:

* Duplicate addresses are virtually eliminated. * Undeliverable-as-addressed mail is reduced. * Use of Zip+4 in your return address speeds up sorting of return mail. * Outgoing mail is delivered faster.

Q Who decides if a campus department is assigned a 66506 or 66502 Zip Code? A It depends on the location of the building. If that area is served by a Federal city carrier, it will be assigned a 66502 Zip Code. If the building is served by the Federal campus carrier it is assigned a 66506 Zip Code.

Q What else can our department do to further assist Central Mail Services? A We plan to continue educating everyone on campus on how to utilize Central Mail Services as efficiently as possible. We need your cooperation. Disseminate this information to everyone in your department who handles or prepares mail; train new employees thoroughly in mail procedures. This will ensure that your mail will continue to be processed efficiently.

.110 Questions

If you have any further questions or would like us to stop by your office and talk with you, please call us at 532-6306 for the Contract Post Office or 532-7751 for Central Mail Services. Visit our web page at http://ksu.edu/facilities/admin/mailop.htm .

***Attachments Follow***

.200 Building/Department Sorting Breakdown

.300 Shipping Request Form or the new Shipping Label

***End of Chapter 7825***