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Central Mail Service

Chapter 7825
Revised October 3, 2012

Table of Contents

.010 Overview of 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 FedEx
.100 Most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
.110 Questions
Related Content
.200 Shipping Request Form
.300 Shipping Label

.010 Overview of Central Mail Service

The Division of Facilities provides a Central Mail Service (CMS) to receive, sort, and deliver incoming United States Postal Service (USPS) and interdepartmental (campus) mail, and meter postage onto outgoing First Class, International, Standard, Book Rate, Media, Certified, Registered, Insured, UPS, FedEx, and hazardous materials for university business mail. Postage for outgoing mail is 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 by Central Mail Services. In most instances, the box will be located with the following criteria in mind:

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

Campus carriers pick up and deliver mail once daily, Monday through Friday. Incoming USPS mail is sorted and delivered to the dormitories and Jardine Apartments on Saturdays also.  Mail is sorted by building, then delivered to each building and deposited at the building's mailbox. CAMPUS MAIL DELIVERY IS FOR UNIVERSITY BUSINESS-RELATED MAIL ONLY. All outgoing mail is metered, and the postage expended is charged to the meter account number designated 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.

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

The University provides a contract post office for the personal mailing needs of the campus community. The contract post office (CPO) provides all USPS services, except money orders and passports.   Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including the noon hour, Monday through Friday. The CPO is closed on all USPS and university holidays.

  .020 Sorting, Receiving, and Distribution

Central Mail Services sorts USPS and interdepartmental mail by building. Departments within each building should collaborate on internal procedures for sorting the mail to department level.

Central Mail carriers conduct one mail run, servicing four routes, between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., daily, Monday through Friday. During the mail run, each building’s incoming USPS and interdepartmental mail is delivered. Outgoing USPS, UPS, and FedEx (Express, not FedEx Ground) mail is picked up and brought to the mail center for application of postage and dispatching to USPS, UPS, and FedEx drivers. Interdepartmental mail is picked up during the mail run, brought to the mail center, and sorted for delivery the following business day. A fifth route is conducted between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m., servicing the dormitories and outlying university entities.

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. 
  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 USPS 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.

Departmental relocations do occur. Please notify CMS in advance of the address change and complete Change of Address cards, provided by CMS. First and Second Class mail can be forwarded at no charge to the department. Non-profit, or Standard rate mail will be returned to the department. The department can then add postage and send on to the 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 and building order.
  2. Band together individually named departmental mail by building 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

Metered mail is defined as 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 departmentMAIL 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.

.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 University Printing 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 University Printing, 532-6308.

Separate International Mail from Domestic Mail (Canada and Mexico are considered International). If you do not separate it, insufficient postage may be applied and the mailpiece will 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.

It is the responsibility of the sender to properly prepare international items for mailing and to address them clearly and correctly. In preparing items for mailing, the sender must (1) use strong envelopes or durable packaging material to prevent deterioration or degradation, and (2) consider the nature of the articles being mailed and the distance they must travel to reach the addressee.

At least the entire right half of the address side of the envelope, package, or card should be reserved for the destination address, postage, labels, and postal notations.

  1. Addresses must appear in ink or be typewritten. Pencil is unacceptable.
  2. The name and address of addressee must appear legibly with roman letters and arabic numbers, all placed lengthwise on one side of the item. For parcels, addresses should also appear on a separate slip enclosed in the parcel.
  3. Addresses in Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, or Chinese characters must bear an interline translation in English of the names of the post office and country of destination. If the English translation is not known, the foreign language words must appear in roman characters (print or script).
  4. Mail may not be addressed to a person in one country “in care of” a person in another country.
  5. The name of the sender and/or addressee may not be in initials except where they are an adopted trade name.
  6. Mail may not be addressed to Boxholder or Householder.
  7. The following exceptional form of address, in French or a language known in the country of destination, may appear on printed matter: the addressee’s name or Occupant.

Example: Mr. Thomas Clark or Occupant

  1. The house number and street address or box number must appear when mail is addressed to towns or cities.
  2. The address of items sent to General Delivery must indicate the name of the addressee and the country of destination. The use of initials, figures, simple given names, or fictitious names is not permitted on articles addressed for general delivery.
  3. All lines of the delivery address should appear in all capital letters. The city destination must appear in capital letters together with the correct post code number or delivery zone number, if any. The last line of the address must show only the country name, written in full (no abbreviations) and in capital letters. If possible, the address should have no more than five lines. For example:

Mr Thomas Clark
117 Russell Drive

  1. Exception: To Canada, there must be two spaces between the province abbreviation and the postal code, as shown below between “ON” and “KIA 0B1”:

Ms Helen Saunders
1010 Clear Street

Due to heightened security, many foreign postal administrations require complete sender and addressee information in roman letters and Arabic numerals on postal items. All outbound international mail should bear a complete return address of the sender. Only one return address may be used, and it must be located so that it does not affect either the clarity of the address of destination or the application of service labels and notations (postmarks, etc.).

 For U.S.-origin mailpieces, minimum elements must include a complete street number and name (or Post Office box number), city name, state name (or authorized two-letter state abbreviation), and the correct 5-digit ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. The return address should appear in the upper left corner of the address side of the envelope, card, flat, or package. It is also recommended that U.S.-origin mailpieces include “United States” on the last line of the return address.

Unregistered items bearing a return address in another country are accepted only at the sender’s risk. Items authorized to bear a return address in another country must include the proper return address elements (including the country name) to ensure the proper return of the mailpiece. The return address should appear in the upper left corner of the address side of the envelope, card, flat, or package.

Mail sent by various classes requires a Customs Form completed and signed by someone in the department. All international mail bearing a PS Form ID # 2976, or 2976-Arequires that the form be electronically completed and will only be accepted at a retail service counter, such as the K-State Contract Post Office, or be sent through Central Mail Services.  These forms are available upon request or can be found at http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immfi.htm. Please call us at 532-7751 for assistance with international mail requiring a Customs Form.

.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:


(fastest mail service offered through USPS for anything mailable such as letters, merchandise; prices based on weight and zone; trackable)

(anything mailable such as bills, invoices, personal correspondence, merchandise, includes cards, letters, flats, and parcels)


(newsletters, magazines, and other periodical publications whose primary purpose is transmitting information to an established list of subscribers or requestors)


(advertisements, circulars, newsletters, small parcels, merchandise weighing less than 16 ounces; for domestic mail only; requires 200 pieces or 50 pounds)


(merchandise, catalogs, printed material, computer media; mail falls into one of four categories, 1) Parcel Post, 2) Bound Printed Matter, 3) Media Mail, and 4) Library Mail)


(anything other than 1st class metered mail 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. 

.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 University Printing. 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 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. including the noon hour, Monday through Friday. The Contract Post Office is closed on weekends and holidays.

.095 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 begin the daily mail run, servicing four routes, at 1:00 p.m. Most days, mail runs are completed by 2:00 p.m. A fifth route, servicing the dorms and outlying campus entities is conducted between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Delivery/pick up times at buildings can vary due to quantity of mail. Be sure all mail is at your dispatch box by 1:00 p.m. to ensure pick up.

Q What are the service objectives for delivery of campus mail?

All campus mail received during the 1:00 p.m. mail run is sorted and delivered during the daily mail run the following business day.

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 4:00 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?


Q Why is USPS mail delivered through campus mail?

USPS regulations state that any entity that is assigned a unique ZIP code agrees to accept all mail for that ZIP code in bulk. For many years, Kansas State University enjoyed exemption from this regulation and the Manhattan Post Office continued delivery to university buildings. Effective July 2, 2012, at the behest of the USPS, the university’s central mail operation assumed the sorting and delivery of incoming USPS mail for the 66506 ZIP code.

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?

A  The opportunity to utilize a team of mail experts with 50 plus years of mail and shipping experience.

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 USPS, UPS and/or FedEx.

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?

Ultimately, the USPS determines the ZIP code. Generally, the location of the building determines the ZIP code assigned to it.

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.