Glossary of terms and abbreviations

Alphabetical list of frequently used terms and abbreviations at IPC and in the postal industry




Bag Pool - standard, strong, long lasting and environmentally friendly IPC mail bags that entered into service in February 2010. Read more


Carbon Management Proficiency - CMP -qualitative reporting system of the Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS), allowing postal organisations to assess through a questionnaire the qualitative aspects of their management systems and carbon efficiency accross ten key areas. Read more

Carbon Performance Indicators - CPI - quantitative reporting system of the Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS), allowing postal organisations to assess the efficiency of their managament systems through quantitative measures of carbon efficiency. The set of indicators include existing greenhouse gas accounting tools, guidance or standards to estimate carbon emissions and express these emissions as carbon efficiencies. Read more

Carrier Document International Transport - CARDIT - message that carries information about a consignment of mail which is handed over to a carrier. Read more

CARDIT-RESDIT EDIFACT interchange - pre-advice and response messages sent between posts and airlines providing handover and transport status information at the consignment level and the individual postal piece level, through the mail receptacle identification. Read more

Carrier intelligence - publicly available reports produced by IPC that provide financial, operational, strategic and market information on 50 leading global postal and logistics operators from Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Read more

Consignment of mail - delivery of mail to its destination whether in bulk or single item

Computer Aided Post through EDI - CAPE- IPC's main technical platform providing near real-time postal operations data used for monitoring, planning and analysis of mail exchanges for all postal products. Read more

Critical Tag Time - CTT - latest agreed time for mail arrival, that enables to guarantee the required processing standard

Critical Scan time - CST - latest agreed scanning time

Customer Service System - CSS - web-based system allowing customer service call centers worldwide to effectively handle international enquiries on barcoded items, following a formalised workflow with agreed and competitive response times. The system features separate modules for the following products and services: EMS, E-Parcel Group, PRIME, Parcels and Kahala Posts Group (KPG). Also known under the name of RUGBY system. Read more

Back to top


Digital business - digital communication services launched by postal operators such as hybrid mail, secure digital e-box, digital identities etc. IPC has worked with its members to study and develop new strategies to move into the digital sector. Read more

Direct marketing - key focus area for IPC in defending the core business of postal operators. It includes addressed and unaddressed direct mail, transactional mail and online direct marketing services which are offered by postal operators to their customers as part of an integrated multi-channel campaign. Read more


Electronic accounting - iPEP- electronic accounting tool that facilitates electronic exchange and approval of accounting-related data (sampling and weights) and calculates the accuracy of the sampling. It is aimed at modernising and bringing efficiencies to the terminal dues process. Read more

Easy Collect Solution - ECS - pick-up and drop-off solution launched by IPC in 2013 that offers consumers greater choice in cross-border delivery options when purchasing goods online. Read more

Easy Returns Solution - ERS - returns solution for cross-border e-commerce items launched by IPC in 2010, which enables posts to offer distance sellers a priority postage-paid international return service for their customers. Read more

Electronic Data Interchange - EDI - method used for transferring data between different systems or networks. In the postal industry EDI standards and technology are being used to increase end-to-end visibility, reduce costs and promote efficiencies. IPC is supporting the increase of EDI message exchanges between posts and airlines via its Future of Mail by Air initiative and monitors the EDI exchanges via its CAPE system. Read more

Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System - EMMS - a common reporting structure within which postal organisations can disclose their environmental management strategies, performance and achievements. It allows participants to share knowledge on carbon and environmental management issues and provide customers with up to date and consistent data regarding the role that postal services play in their supply chains. The EMMS provides a structure for sharing knowledge and facilitates a learning process enabling the postal industry to continuously improve its greenhouse gas efficiency. Read more

E-Parcel Group - EPG - an integrated delivery network made of a group of postal parcel operators that use track-and-trace system and an automated customer service system linking each postal operator’s call centres to ensure stable and reliable quality of service for their customers. Read more

EMS Task Force - task force set up by IPC together with a group of postal operators to help meet agreed performance targets for handling and delivering EMS items and to provide item monitoring and performance analysis. Read more

Back to top


Future of Mail by Air - FoMbA -initiative launched by IPC that brings together airlines and posts to find solutions that benefit both industries. It aims at improving the visibility of mail in transport, with a long-term vision of implementing paper-free transport and accounting for different types of exchanges: post-to-post, post-and-ground handlers, and post-to-carrier and border agencies. Read more



Harmonized Periodical Product - HPP - product for the delivery of incoming cross-border periodicals with harmonized conditions, allowing operators to bypass the cumbersome domestic requirements that hamper the exchange of periodicals through Direct Entry/Level 3. It is part of the IPC REIMS agreement for terminal dues. Read more


International Direct Mail - IDM -  product targeting small- and medium-sized customers that run cross-border advertising campaigns, based on harmonized terms and conditions, while using individual pricing. It is part of the IPC REIMS agreement for terminal dues. Read more

Intercompany pricing - see terminal dues

International business reply service - IBRS -service that allows postal operators to enable authorized senders to prepay reply items posted by their respondents in other countries. It is part of the IPC REIMS agreement for terminal dues. Read more

International Eco-Driving Competition - event organised by IPC to stimulate postal employee engagement with sustainability and encourage eco-driving in the international postal sector. Read more

Internet Based Inquiry System - IBIS - see Customer Service System. Name given to IPC's Customer Service System by users who are part of the UPU Parcels Group. Read more

Back to top



Kahala Posts Group - KPG - consortium of posts founded in 2003, whose aim is to focus on service performance improvement to meet the levels of reliability required by customers. KPG has leveraged IPC’s experience with service quality monitoring in postal environments and has selected IPC to run real time, weekly, fortnightly and monthly performance statistics, weekly and monthly liability assignment for claimed items, monthly and six monthly reports to support accounting  for claimed items as well as to develop the ICR (Inter Continental Returns) platform


Latest Arrival Time - LAT - planned time of transport arrival that enables meeting the required operational standard


Mail Registration Device - MRD - device that enables mail handlers to quickly and simply register mail deliveries into postal facilities located in airports, bringing higher visibility to the inbound and outbound mail handover process. Read more

Mails Electronic Data Interchange and Customs Integration - MEDICI - programme run by IPC that allows participating postal operators to capture and electronically exchange customs information to clear customs and assess duty and tax. It has managed to both minimise the costs of capturing and supplying data in electronic form and to ensure that full advantage is taken of resulting opportunities to improve services. Read more

Back to top




Parcel Performance Reporting - PPR -service created in 2006 and coordinated by IPC, aimed at monitoring priority and non-priority parcels for postal operators throughout the world. Read more

PostBoard - online discussion communities gathering postal experts around the world in the field of direct marketing and e-commerce. Read more

PRECON - PRE-advice on CONsignment level

PREDES - PRE-advice on DESpatch level

PRIME - PRoduct IMprovement E-commerce - initiative coordinated by IPC composed of more than 110 postal operators aimed at developing and improving value added letters services (Exprès, Registered and Insured). Read more

Proof of custody - POC - registration of the handover of mail consignments at the post of origin. Read more

Proof of delivery - POD -registration of the delivery of mail consignments at destination. Read more



Remuneration of International Mails - REIMS Agreements - the terminal dues system in Europe whose aim is to ensure that payments for delivery of cross-border mail are not only cost-related, but also linked to actual performance. Read more

RESCON - REceipt message on CONsignment level

RESDES - REceipt message on DESpatch level

RESDIT - Carrier Confirmation of Receipt or Current Exception message that carries information about a consignment of mail that is processed by a carrier

Radio Frequency Identification technology - RFID -the enabling technology for measuring the performance of items that do not have a barcode such as letter mail. Since the introduction by IPC in 1997, it is now in use by well over 50 postal operators and the technology has been extended to alternative postal applications. Read more

Rugby system - see Customer Service System. Name given to IPC's Customer Service System by users who are part of the Express Mail Service (EMS) community. Read more

Back to top


Scope 1 emissions -  direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, including those from buildings and transport owned by the company. Read more

Scope 2 emissions - indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, including purchased electricity, heat or steam. Read more

Scope 3 emissions - all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the company, including transport-related activities by vehicles not owned or controlled, etc. Read more

Senior Executive Forums - SEF - the IPC Senior Executive Forums (SEFs) and Best Practice Seminars (BPSs) are tightly focused platforms for strategic discussions and best-practice sharing addressing particular issues relevant to defending core postal business and expanding into new growth areas. Senior Executive Forum participants discuss the strategic choices facing them in key business areas, while Best Practice Seminars gather technical experts who share respective approaches on a given subject. Read more

Single Tool for Online Reporting and Monitoring - STORM - web-based system that provides online monitoring and reporting based on EDI messages. Read more

Standard Operating Messaging Procedures on FoMbA - SOMP - procedures that outline the path that Future of Mail by Air (FoMbA) participants need to take to achieve automated, simplified, aligned and paper-free business processes for mail carriage between posts, airlines and stakeholders.


Terminal dues - payment which the delivering posts is entitled to collect from the dispatching one in compensation for the costs incurred in the destination country

Track and trace - process of determining the current and past locations and other information of a unique item. IPC is using track-trace for a number of e-commerce solutions


UNEX Mail Measurement system - UMMS - web-based platform that associates all participants of the UNEX mail measurement, providing the operational information needed for an accurate measurement, data analysis and reporting. Read more 

UNEX™ system - system used to measure international letter service performance between around 40 postal operators with test mail sent from more than 50 countries on four continents. It is based on a network of volunteer “panellists” who send and receive test letters on a defined calendar and plan. Read more






Back to top