ShipWorks to Support New USPS Automated Package Verification Program

Update: This article has been edited to reflect the new launch date of August 15 for the Automated Package Verification program.

Effective August 15, 2017, the USPS will be starting a new program called the Automated Package Verification program to handling underpaid and overpaid packages being delivered to U.S. addresses.  This program only applies to packages and does not apply to envelopes or flats.

Under the new Automated Package Verification (APV) program, state-of-the-art technology will ensure that all packages sorted by the USPS are fully verified and includes the correct postage value.  The APV program will check for errors on package weight, box dimensions, package type, origin ZIP code, destination ZIP code and postage paid.

What happens if my package is underpaid?

If the APV program flags a package for underpayment, the shipper (ShipWorks customer) will have the postage due automatically deducted from your USPS postage account. The package will be delivered to the recipient on-time and with no postage due.

What happens if my package is overpaid?

If the APV program identifies a package that has overpayment, a postage refund will be issued to the ShipWorks account. Refunds should be credited to your account within 3-5 days of email notification.

Previously, underpaid packages were either returned to the sender or delivered with a postage due notice to the recipient, creating a very poor buyer experience.  For overpaid packages, shippers forfeited the additional monies spent.

What can I do if I want to file a dispute?

If you feel your package was flagged as underpaid in error, you can file a dispute with the USPS.  To file a dispute, send an email to [email protected] and include the package tracking number and the reason for the dispute.  If the USPS requires more info, they will contact you via email.

Tips to Avoid Packages from Being Flagged by Automated Package Verification

  • Make sure to attach the correct postage type to the appropriate Priority Mail Flat Rate packaging (for example, a Priority Mail Flat Rate Box cannot be used with a regular, zone-based Priority Mail label).
  • Invest in an accurate digital scale and make sure your scale is calibrated frequently.
  • Know that fractional ounces are always rounded up; a package that weighs even 3.1 ounces must be entered as 4 ounces.