Postal: Help USPS Help You
A presort service bureau provider usually takes many preaddressed mailings from different mailers and performs one of the automation processes for the USPS by sorting the pieces together. They typically run weekly, gathering mailings so the critical mass is achieved. If a mailer has a time-sensitive delivery window, the delivery delay may not be acceptable. However, sometimes the timing at the presort bureau is just right.
The other typical way to combine automated letters is with a commingling service. Commingling differs from presort in that the entire combined mailing is controlled and produced by one service provider. Several mailings are presorted using mailstream software, then they are merged in the software and "virtual" trays of mail are created.
When the separate mailings are staged for commingling, the different mail is organized by virtual tray and, once the virtual tray is full, the result is tracked for production in real trays at the best automation sort levels. Again, this works best if a client can wait a day or so. But the delay is shorter because usually only a handful of mailings are involved.
3. Drop Ship Entry
Once all your presort and automation opportunities have been exhausted, the next opportunity for postage reduction is to truck the mail to destination postal processing facilities.
There are two aspects of all postal processing facilities: originating mail and destinating mail—in other words, picking mail up to bring it to the postal facility, and delivering it from the postal facility to recipients.
If a mailer gives the USPS its mail where it was produced, the mail "originates" there and goes up the chain to National Distribution Centers and then to destinating Sectional Center Facilities and then Destination Delivery Units. Drop-ship discounts are earned by bypassing the enitre originating side of postal processing via private transport. With most mailings, and all letter mail, the best drop-ship entry level is to the SCF. These facilities are where the sheer bulk of mail processing occurs.