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Drop Ship Mail

Faster Delivery & Lower Postage

By: Arnie Cohen

The United States Postal Service is always looking for ways to reduce its operating costs. One strategy they employ is “worksharing”, which rewards postage discounts to mailers who prepare their mail for more efficient processing. This includes postal presorting by destination and the application of postal barcodes to speed mail through USPS automated processing equipment.

If you have a mailing that is geographically concentrated, such as one city, county or state, and are mailing using Standard (Bulk) Mail, Drop Shipping is another component of worksharing that may be of benefit to you. Drop Shipping is where a mailer moves their mailing to a postal facility closer to the destination before handing it over to the Postal Service. The further downstream mail is entered into the system, the greater the postage discount given to the mailer. The USPS has found this worksharing element to be so beneficial to their cost-cutting efforts that they have recently increased the Drop Shipping “entry” discounts in order to encourage use.

Here is a quick look at how the Postal Service moves the mail. When mail is collected by local Post Offices from mailboxes and large mailers throughout a city, it is combined at a central facility known as a Sectional Center Facility, or SCF. Mail from a large number of SCF’s are then combined at a larger regional Bulk Mail Center, or BMC before being sent across the country. At the other end, the process is reversed at a Destination BMC where the mail is broken down to separate SCF’s and then to individual local Post Offices for delivery. Drop Shipping bypasses up to three stops on the origin end of the process and delivers the mail directly to a destination processing facility. This saves costs for the Postal Service and results in faster delivery of your mail.

So, how much can you save with Drop Shipping? The “entry” postage discount for delivering mail to a Destination BMC is 3.3¢ per piece and to a Destination SCF is 4.2¢. And depending on how far your mail is going, there could be as much as a one week reduction in the delivery time. There are shipping costs for getting the mail to a destination BMC or SCF that will use up some of the postage savings. However, if these costs are less than the entry discounts, you will save both time and money. Even if the costs and savings break even, your time savings could justify using Drop Shipping.

When doing Drop Ship mailings Modern Postcard clients, we have helped them save hundreds of dollars for quantities of 10,000 or more pieces. We have also Drop Shipped as few as 6,000 pieces when a client was more concerned about delivery time than the savings. Do you have a geographically concentrated mailing? Give us a call at 800.959.8365 x2500 and let us review how Drop Ship Mail could best work for you.