• 4/18/16 Flooding in Chile (updated 4/25/16) Open or Close

    The designated operator of Chile, CorreosChile, asks us to inform the designated operators of other Union member countries that, as of 17 April 2016, the serious flooding in the Santiago Metropolitan Region will result in distribution delays for the following categories of items: letter mail, parcels and EMS.

    CorreosChile thanks all member countries for their understanding and will update the designated operators through EmIS as soon as the situation returns to normal.

    Update 4/25/16:  The designated operator of Chile, CorreosChile, asks us to inform the designated operators of other Union member countries that the serious flooding in the Santiago Metropolitan Region is over, and postal operations are back to normal.


  • 4/18/16 Japan earthquakes service update Open or Close

    Japan Post asks us to inform the designated operators of other UPU member countries that Kumamoto Prefecture has been severely affected by the strong earthquakes which have occurred in Japan since Thursday, 14 April 2016.

    The earthquakes have caused major disruption of rail and road transport in the affected area and neighbouring regions.

    The postcode areas affected by these earthquakes are as follows:

    860xxxx – 869xxxx (Kumamoto Prefecture)

    880xxxx – 889xxxx (Miyazaki Prefecture)

    890xxxx – 899xxxx (Kagoshima Prefecture)

    Delays are being experienced in the transport of all inbound/outbound mail items (letters, parcels and EMS) in these areas.

    Japan Post thanks designated postal operators for their understanding and cooperation and will update them via EmIS as soon as the situation returns to normal.

  • 3/31/16 Japan customs requirements Open or Close

    Japan asks us to inform Union member countries and their designated operators of the following:

    Customs inspection of inbound mail in Japan is being strengthened as part of counter-terrorism measures, in connection with the convening of the Ise-Shima G 7 Summit this year, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Therefore, Japan Post would like to request each designated operator’s cooperation in conducting a thorough inspection of the contents of all mail items, without exception, based on the Regulations of the Universal Postal Convention, ensuring that all these items are accompanied by all the required documents, and not accepting any dangerous goods.

    Read More
  • 3/25/16 Service to Belgium after explosions Open or Close

    bpost (BE) wishes to inform all member countries that following the terrorist attacks on Brussels Airport, all air traffic remains cancelled until at least Sunday, 27 March 2016. There are still heavy disruptions for all inbound and outbound mail, parcels and EMS sent by air. Road solutions remain activated for outbound mail, parcels and EMS, as well as, where possible, alternative air solutions via the surrounding countries. bpost can only accept items by surface.

    bpost kindly requests for the mail to be kept on hold by the concerned members, when only airmail transport is possible, and until further notice. Some areas where mail delivery was not possible have not returned to normal yet.

  • USPS rate changes for January 2016 Open or Close

    As most of you know by now, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is increasing rates for many domestic and international services on January 17, 2016. This increase only includes the “Competitive Services” (Shipping Services) – mail or “Market Dominant” services like First Class Mail are not included in this round. 

    All of the new Domestic and International postage rates from the USPS are available at Go to the “Shipping Services Prices” and “Mailing Services Prices” indexed on the left side and use the tabs along the bottom to see all of the rates.

    Rates for the following IMS services are increasing on January 17, 2016:

    International Priority Airmail (IPA) – IMS rates increasing avg of 2.7%.

    International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) – IMS rates increasing avg of 4.1%.

    Rates for direct entry into Canada Post are increasing for most services on January 11, 2016. Since rates for these services are based on piece counts and currency fluctuations (no published rates), let us know if you’d like individual quotes updated.

    Due to the fact that our customized agreement with the USPS will not renew until April or May, 2016 (no exact date or percentage at this time), rates for the following services will not increase until then:

    Commercial ePacket (CeP)

    Priority Mail Express International (PMEI)

    Priority Mail International (PMI)

    I want to take this opportunity to thank ALL of our loyal customers. We really do appreciate your business and strive to give you the best possible experience. Our staff pays attention to every detail in the processing and invoicing of your materials. Also, we’re in the process of building a brand new web site that will debut in January to hopefully improve that experience. Let us know if you like it!

    Please let us know if you have any questions or would like quotes updated. You can call our offices at 800-466-6245 or use the “Quote Request” button at the top of our home page ( Thanks again, we look forward to working with you in 2016!


  • International addressing guidelines - updated! Open or Close

    Looking for improved international mail delivery? Maybe you should start with the delivery address. International addresses follow a specific format which is dictated by recommendations from the country of origin and from the destination country. And although each country has their own specific addressing requirements, there are some universal standards that should be followed when addressing a foreign mail piece.

    The first thing to remember is that the name of the destination country must always:

    Be printed as the last line of the address

    Be in all capital letters

    Be in the language of the dispatching country

    The next item to consider is the “postal code”. Like a US zip code, a foreign postal code is an essential element of an international address. Currently there are more than 116 countries that use postal codes as a part of their addressing requirements. The tricky thing about postal codes is that their format varies widely around the world. From an alpha numeric format of 6 characters with a space between the 3rd and 4th (ANA NAN) used in Canada, to Australia which uses 4 digits to the United Kingdom which uses 6 different alpha numeric formats. Yes, it can be hard to keep it all straight!

    We see numerous postal codes that have been corrupted due to the field being set as a “Zip + 4”, or the field not being large enough to contain a code over 5 digits. Just like here in the US where a bad or missing zip code may impede delivery, a missing or corrupted international postal code can have the same effect – especially in countries where the postal technology is still developing.

    One of the best resources for information on formatting international addresses is theUniversal Postal Union. There you can find country specific addressing requirements and formats as well as links to member postal organizations. Another great source for foreign address knowledge is “Frank’s Compulsive Guide to Postal Addresses”.

    There are companies out there that provide international address hygiene and standardization. They can correct address format and spelling, identify undeliverable or uncorrectable addresses and often add missing address elements and postal codes.

    And we’re here if you need us! We’d be happy to take a look at your address file prior to addressing and offer assistance and guidance. We can help identify addresses that are missing elements, addresses that are insufficient and can even “clean up” formatting issues. That way you’re not wasting time and money prepping mail pieces that aren’t going anywhere. So, if you’re concerned about improved international mail delivery, start with the most important part of an international mail piece – the delivery address.

  • Return address required on all international mail Open or Close

    Effective January 4, 2010, return addresses are required on all outbound international mail - regardless of service used.  The new requirement is being established in response to changes in Universal Postal Union (UPU) regulations.  It specifies that mailpieces must bear a complete return address in the country of origin (where you pay postage).  In other words, if mailed through the USPS, return must be a US address (See USPS Regulation 122.23).  If mailed direct through Canada Post, return must be Canadian.  Further, it’s recommended that the destination country name be on the last line in capital letters.

  • International postal codes Open or Close

    A frequent mistake in addressing international mail pieces is an incorrect postal code format.  But, an error here can cause your mail to be greatly delayed or not delivered at all.  It can be difficult to know if a postal code is correct with so many different formats and the fact that some countries don’t use them at all.  Often, the problem is trying to fit a foreign postal code into a domestic zip + 4 format.  There are many resources available to find out if your destination uses postal codes, or what the proper format is.  One is the Universal Postal Union, which has a section for each country.  You can also contact your international mail specialist, like International Mail Service.

  • Unaddressed Admail to Canada Open or Close

    Looking to reach a highly targeted audience while sticking to a tight budget?Unaddressed Admail to Canada allows you to target residences and / or businesses in a specific geographic region for a fraction of the cost of addressed mail.  All without the need to purchase a list and pay the associated costs to address and sort the mail pieces.

    Customers with multiple retail locations throughout Canada can mail a specified number of pieces around any number of retail addresses and we can manage it all for you.  You can send flyers, brochures, cards, coupons, envelopes, samples, magazines, and newspapers - allowing you to customize and vary your message.

    Canada Post offers an online tool to help determine how many applicable addresses may be on a particular carrier route.  Or, International Mail Service Inc can acquire the counts for you - you tell us how many you want to send (surrounding a single address or multiple) and we’ll do the rest!

    To get an idea how easy this can be, counts and maps of all Canadian FSAs (Forward Sortation Areas) by region can be found here.  A sample map of carrier routes within a greater Toronto FSA can be viewed here

    Once you’ve decided on where to send your mail, we can help you build a timeline to insure your offer is hitting the target date(s).  Since we enter mail in Windsor ON, it can take up to 15 days to reach the targeted delivery area.  By paying the “Premium” rate (about 1 cent extra), we can specify the delivery start date (of a 3 day delivery window). 

    Preparation requirements are minimal when using IMS to facilitate your mailing.  Items need to be bundled by 50 or 100 counts during production or we can provide that service.  We then send the corresponding bundles to the designated FSAs.

    Our experience can help guide you through this process to make it simple and VERY cost effective.  Give us a call and let us know a little more about what you’d like to accomplish and we’ll make it happen!

  • Commercial ePacket exceeds expectations! (10/19/15) Open or Close

    On paper, the Commercial ePacket (CeP) sounded like the perfect option for small package shippers who needed to balance cost with tracking and timely delivery.  Well, after 6 months and tens of thousands of packages sent, the results are very impressive!  Customers are saving 50% or more compared to First Class Package International (FCPI) and getting tracking. 

    The following chart details tracking data from a block of 2,908 packages.  All results are included (no “cherry picking” the faster deliveries) - actual tracking numbers are available upon request.  A package was considered “delivered” upon the first attempt.

    Pkgs in sample* Scan rate Avg delivery 
    (business days)
    Australia 482 97% 8.2
    Belgium 27 100% 4.7
    Canada 1,067 99% 5.6
    Denmark 30 87% 4.5
    Finland 36 89% 5.8
    France 76 87% 4.2
    Germany 74 92% 5.5
    Great Britain 521 97% 4.7
    100% 2.8
    Israel 112 94% 8.9
    Italy 49 94% 7.6
    Netherlands 29 100% 5.1
    New Zealand 79 100% 4.2
    Portugal 21 90% 7.2
    Singapore 42 95% 6.0
    Spain 63 98% 4.5
    Sweden 73 99% 4.0
    Switzerland 48 100% 5.5
    COLUMN TOTALS: 2,908 97.1% 5.9
    * Note that Croatia, Estonia, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, and Malta did not have at least 10 packages in the sampling and were not listed.  Packages to these countries however ARE included in the total scan rate and delivery averages.

    How does someone get the tracking data? 

    Simply go to and enter your tracking number (assigned by Endicia when you print your label, prefixed by “LX”).  You can enter up to 35 packages at a time.  Below is a sample of the tracking data:

    93fa6c09 a267 486d 8e59 152bf0f65c3e

    USPS adds BRAZIL to the list! 

    Beginning September 28, 2015, customers can use the ePacket service to send packages to Brazil.  From what we’ve heard from customers, this will prove to be very popular.

    According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Latin America is the second fastest growing ecommerce market in the world.  And at the heart of that growth lies Brazil.  Beware however that private shipping carriers often include surcharges that aren’t billed until after a package has been shipped.  This is why the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a great option for lightweight residential deliveries.  See the entire article here.

    Start shipping within a week!

    If you’re interested in using Commercial ePacket in your business, please contact us - it’s very easy to get started.  The only system requirement is to be using ENDICIA PROFESSIONAL shipping software.  Unfortunately, is unable at this time to provide the consolidator integration necessary to print the unique labels.

    To insure the best possible pricing, please provide a snapshot of your volume - both current and projected, along with the weight range and primary destinations.  We’ll put together a plan to get you shipping within a week or so.


IMS provides a professional expertise that is appreciated. They have taken care of our international mailing needs for over 15 years, regardless of the mailing requirements. They are a true partner when it comes to delivering exceptional service.

Kerry Still - Mail Services Manager, Walsworth

We have been utilizing IMS since the early 1990’s and we would not consider working with anyone else. IMS sets the bar by which we measure our other vendors. Their approach to customer service, their integrity, and their dedication to meeting our needs brings considerable value to our company every day.

David C. Rhoa - President, Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc.