US Stamps

Why you can expect speedier FDC servicing in 2017

Jan 15, 2017, 3 AM
A new procedure for addressing first-day cover requests includes the option of directing the request for a particular type of cancellation, such as the digital color postmark shown on this mock-up.

By Lloyd de Vries

Hard on the heels of news of the consolidation of United States first-day cover servicing at the U.S. Postal Service’s Cancellation Services division in Kansas City, Mo., (which was explained in this column) comes a change in the address format that collectors should use when submitting their own covers.

Dealers/servicers registered with Cancellation Services should use this address:

USPS SFS Cancellation Services – Dealer Processing
8300 NE Underground Dr., Pillar 210
Kansas City, MO 64144-9998

It is practically the same as one of the addresses used by dealers in the past; the former post office box address has been put out to pasture, at least for FDC servicing.

Note the addition of “Dealer Processing” in the top line.

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Requests for cancellations sent to the above address must include the multipart work-order form provided by Cancellation Services.

Collectors, dealers/servicers not registered with Cancellation Services, and anyone else without a work order, should use this address:

FDOI – [insert stamp issue name]
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Dr., Ste. 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

Note that while the street number and name are the same as those in the dealer-processing address, the unit in this address is Suite 300 rather than Pillar 210, and the ZIP code extension is different.

For example, the address for servicing covers of the second new issue of 2017 would look like this:

FDOI – Love Skywriting
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Dr., Ste. 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

If a particular type of cancellation is desired, that could be specified in the top line of the address; for example, “FDOI – Love Skywriting DCP” would indicate that the servicer wants the digital color postmark on all the enclosed covers, as depicted on the FDC mock-up shown here. (Request for digital color postmarks require a minimum order of 10, and a fee is charged.)

As mentioned in the October column, Cancellation Services has been handling almost all mail-in servicing requests for years. 

However, the change last fall makes it possible for collectors to send their unserviced covers directly to Kansas City, without running the gantlet of possibly uninformed local clerks in the first-day locations.

Noncommercial FDC servicers had been asking for years to be able to send their covers directly to Cancellation Services.

Postal Service officials’ argument against it was that sorting incoming packages of FDCs and assigning the proper cancellation devices would take up too much time.

The assumption was that when a box of small-quantity requests came in from (for example) the Las Vegas, Nev., post office in early fall last year, the sorting clerk at Cancellation Services would know right away that everything in the box was for the Pets forever stamps, which were issued in that city on Aug. 2. 

The new address format appears to be an attempt to identify the issues for which servicing is requested before the outer wrappings are opened. Chances are good that this new system will be tweaked further as the year progresses.

The new address format was first included in the USPS Postal Bulletin listing for the third new issue of 2017 with a first-day ceremony: the U.S. Flag stamp to be released Jan. 27 at Southeastern Stamp Expo

The old format was cited in the Postal Bulletin for servicing of Year of the Rooster and Love Skywriting covers, but actually the new one should be used for those issues as well.

The new format has an advantage for collector-servicers, too. Rather than having to look up the address of the putative servicing city for each new stamp, collectors now will be using a mail-in address that is nearly identical for each issue, the only change being the name of the issue. 

A servicer with access to a computer and printer could print out mailing labels in advance for Cancellation Services, with a space to write in the appropriate issue name.