Nuts & Bolts: The 411 on Flats
This spring, postal rates are set to increase for the second time in as many years, and for mailers in the flats category this hike brings some especially damaging hits. Further confounding the issue is the move from two presort tiers to four for flats and the addition of a Not Flats-machinable rate category for pieces that are too rigid or lumpy. There is good news, however: These additional presort tiers represent more ability for worksharing discounts, and entry discounts are set to rise as well.
The chart below illustrates the cost per thousand for machinable flats—weighing 3.3 ounces or less—under the proposed rate case. As you can see, costs can be dramatically decreased if you are able to design your flats for automation, and if you can take advantage of these new presort and entry discount rates. If the idea of abandoning the flats format is about as appealing as that leftover eggnog in your fridge, this chart should give you an idea of how you need to mail to achieve a workable cost per thousand.
—Tracy A. Gill