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NFDA Leaders Meet with USPS Regarding Shipping Cremated Remains

Posted: March 10, 2014

Last week during the NFDA Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., NFDA Treasurer Bob Arrington, Immediate Past President Bob Rosson and Vice President of Advocacy Lesley Witter met with officials from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to discuss how to make the shipping of cremated remains process as easy as possible for grieving families.

The NFDA representatives explained to the USPS officials that because funeral directors are unable to estimate shipping costs of cremated remains, grieving families must be billed after the shipping takes place; thus, the family receives two separate bills.

USPS staff asked NFDA to provide information about the average weight of cremated remains and the dimensions of typical urns/temporary containers. USPS staff agreed to consider creating a flat rate box rate that would fit a typical temporary container. USPS also agreed to consider creating a formula for other types of containers (e.g., specialty urns etc.) that would not fit in a standard flat rate box so that funeral director can estimate costs prior to shipment.

Additionally, NFDA representatives were able to review an educational brochure about mailing cremated remains that the USPS will be sending to all funeral directors within the coming weeks. This brochure will address the new USPS policy that went into effect in December 2013 and requires cremated remains to be sent by Priority Mail Express.

NFDA will share more information as it becomes available.