You are undoubtedly aware of the substantial savings available by sending your direct mail “standard rate” (what used to be called “bulk rate”) instead of first class. But this is just a portion of the postal cost savings you can achieve through postal logistics.
Through their work share program, the USPS will reduce what they charge for postage commensurate with the work you save them. So if you are able to deliver a tray of mail to a post office close to its ultimate destination, you can save a lot in postage.
In theory, calculating how to maximize your savings is easy. If you have at least 150 mail pieces going to a five-digit zip code, the USPS will charge you only 22.1 cents (a savings of 22% vs. the standard rate of 28.3 cents) if you deliver the mail to the Sectional Center Facility (SCF) closest to that area. Depending upon how much you’ll have to pay in freight to drop ship the tray(s) of mail to this location as well as your additional labor costs to comply with the USPS’s stringent standards for sorting, traying, sleeving and strapping the mail, drop shipping may or may not save you money. If the freight costs for shipping to one of the 196 SCFs are too high, your next step would be to calculate the savings for shipping a larger volume of mail to one of the 29 Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) instead. And if you don’t have 150 pieces with the same five-digit zip code, you would see if you have at least 150 pieces that share the first three zip code digits.
Fortunately, since there are over 40,000 U.S. zip codes and hundreds of potential entry locations, bulk mail software exists to handle these calculations for you. But unless you’re already set up to handle the labor-intensive sorting, traying, sleeving and strapping of all the different mail trays you need, you will probably find that using a mailing service to process your mailing makes more sense than doing the work in-house.
There is a third alternative that may work better for you than either managing the drop shipping yourself or hiring a mail house to do it for you. Commingling companies will pick up your entire unsorted mailing, mix it with mail from other companies, deliver it in the most cost-effective manner to the appropriate post office locations, and share the savings with you. MailSmart Logistics’ clients are typically able to reduce their postage costs an additional 12% below standard rates by using our commingling services. And because we work with the largest commingling operation, our clients’ mail is delivered an average of 2.4 days faster than if they dropped it off at their nearest mail entry unit.
Want to learn more about whether commingling is right for your company? Download this free guide:
You’re going to love working with MailSmart Logistics!