Mailers Prepare for Co-Palletization Test

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Mailers of small-circulation periodicals are gearing up to take advantage of a U.S. Postal Service test that will let them achieve the work-sharing discounts enjoyed by large mailers.


In the two-year experiment, publishers, printers and consolidators can receive discounts when they combine bundles/packages of different periodicals on the same pallet and drop ship them to an area distribution center or sectional center facility.


The discount is 0.7 cents per piece on combined bundles sent to area distribution centers and 1 cent per piece on bundles sent to sectional center facilities.


A single publication is eligible for the test discounts if there is insufficient density to prepare minimum-weight, 250-pound pallets. Bundles/packages of the publication would be combined with bundles/packages from other publications to meet the 250-pound minimum requirement.


The USPS said several printers applied and that it expects authorized mailers to begin using the discounts next month. One of them is Crain Communications Inc., Detroit.


"We are waiting for software that will give us proper documentation, which won't be ready until May 7," Crain distribution director Joyce McGarvy said. The co-palletization rate would save the company $60,000 to $70,000 yearly, she said.


McGarvy said Crain already merges titles such as Advertising Age, Automotive News, Television Week, BtoB and Business Insurance. Their circulations run from 35,000 to 100,000 subscribers.


"These are generally small-volume, nationally circulated publications, and their volumes just don't allow them to make pallets on their own," she said.


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