If you’re relatively new to the direct mail business, you may have heard of commingling mail but be a little unsure about exactly how it works.
Delivering mail is a surprisingly complicated process. Mail going further than a short distance will pass through as many as 6 different mail processing facilities, being sorted and reprocessed each time. After entering the mail stream at a bulk mail entry unit, direct mail is sent first to the closest of 196 Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs). The mail is then resorted and sent to the nearest Network Distribution Center (NDC), where it is resorted again. It is then shipped to the NDC closest to its destination, which sends it on to the destination SCF. Finally, mail arrives at the recipient’s local post office, where it is sorted one more time prior to delivery. Each of these stops adds to the time the mail is in transit and increases the risk of significant delays.
As you can see above, commingling gets your mail to its destination more quickly by bypassing a lot of these intermediate stops. Your commingling company picks up your mailing at your location, combines it with mail from multiple other companies, and ships it directly to the region it is going to. 90% of the mail that MailSmart Logistics commingles goes directly to the SCF closest to its ultimate destination, completely bypassing four intermediate processing facilities. The remaining 10% is shipped to the destination NDC.
Because commingled mail is sent directly to facilities close to its ultimate destination, it gets delivered more quickly and predictably. In fact, our 2014 research showed that mail commingled for MailSmart Logistics’ clients arrived 2.4 days faster than mail dropped off at a bulk mail entry unit.
In addition to getting delivered faster, commingling mail also saves money. Because the U.S. Postal Service reduces its postage rates commensurate with the processing steps you save them, you can use commingling to stretch your direct mail budget.