Take advantage of drop-shipping, copalletization and commingling to save money

Ever since the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 became law, mailers have had two questions: “What’s the Consumer Price Index?” and “How much additional postage will I now have to pay?”

For the first time in many years, the USPS won’t raise first-class or standard-mail postage rates in 2010. But savvy application of some postage-saving techniques could push even more cash to your bottom line while actually enhancing delivery. Try these:

Drop-Ship your mail. The USPS is very good at delivering mail from a local post office to your home or office, but it realized many years ago that delivering cross-country was out of their sweet spot. They instituted work-share discounts that allow mailers to save postage by taking on some headache and expense of hauling the mail.

Copalletization. This more recent opportunity can allow mailers to achieve much deeper Sectional Center Facilities (SCF) discounts on qualifying trays within a mailing even if the mail was a mixed or Bulk Mail Center pallet. A few suppliers in the industry offer this service, and it could significantly lower your postage expense.

Commingling. By physically scanning and commingling mail, mailers can reduce postage by increasing the density at the tray and pallet levels for increased SCF qualification. Mailings with a large number of versions often benefit most from this service due to the inherent lack of geographic density.

Find partners now. You can sit back and enjoy a flat budget line for postage next year, or you can actively seek ways to cut your line item further with techniques that also move your mail through the USPS more efficiently. Make sure to find a partner with enough volume, expertise and a dedicated postage team to make it worthwhile.

This article originally ran as part of the January 4, 2010 Technique, “Make the most of stable postal rates.” To read the entire feature, click here.

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