USPS Finalizes Simplified Merged 5-Digit Pallet Plan

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The U.S. Postal Service published a final rule yesterday in the Federal Register that requires mailers by Jan. 6 to merge several types of mail onto the same five-digit pallet. They include: carrier route bundles of flat-size or irregular parcel mail pieces; noncarrier route five-digit bundles of flat-size mail pieces not meeting the criteria for the automated flat-sorting machine 100; and noncarrier route five-digit bundles.

Mailing standards currently permit mailers to merge carrier route bundles and noncarrier route five-digit bundles of flat-size pieces, and only on certain types of pallets. Those pallets include: five-digit metro pallets; three-digit pallets; sectional center facility pallets; area distribution center pallets (for Periodicals mail only); auxiliary service facility pallets (for Standard Mail and Package Services pieces only); and bulk mail center pallets (for Standard Mail and Package Services pieces only).

The USPS and mailers have said the change would improve customer service and operational efficiencies.

Also, beginning Aug. 1, Standard mail five-digit bundle minimums will be raised from 10 to 15 pieces for mail pieces that weigh less than 5 ounces and are thinner than three-quarters of an inch. The USPS and mailers said the change will increase processing efficiencies, reduce the overall production of bundles of certain Standard mail flat-size pieces and decrease overall USPS piece and bundle-handling costs.


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