This Technical Specification complements CEN/TS 14631:2004 and UPU standards M34a and S37, which cover the definition of mail aggregates; their relationships with other entities; their identification and attributes and the electronic exchange of aggregate attribute and composition data.
NOTE 1 CEN/TS 14631:2004 is equivalent to UPU standard S37-4; there is no CEN equivalent of UPU standard M34a.
NOTE 2 Though the specification repeats some information from these standards for reasons of readability, a full understanding requires familiarity with the above referenced specifications.
The specification primarily addresses issues not covered in M34a:
– the association of aggregate identifiers with the physical aggregates to which they relate;
– aggregate creation;
– the processing of aggregates as a unit;
– aggregate tracking;
– aggregate break-up;
– how the above relates to the tracking of individual mail items;
– the implementation of aggregate information exchange and tracking systems through the evolution of existing electronic data exchange systems.
The specification is principally concerned with methods and procedures for the communication of process control and tracking information about mail aggregates. It should not be interpreted as specifying or limiting the applications for which such information may be used.
The specification is especially concerned with cross-border mail that is exchanged between postal handling organisations. However, the concepts described are equally applicable to the exchange of mail between different postal handling organisations in the same country and may beneficially be applied to the internal operations of individual mail service contractors and postal handling organisations.
NOTE 3 Individual postal handling organisations could define proprietary approaches for internal use. However, this would almost certainly lead to increased development and maintenance costs for both the organisations themselves and their customer.