With the current economic situation, businesses are being forced to do more with less, and many mailers in the industry are looking for new opportunities to save. One option mailers are considering to improve efficiency and increase savings is to combine mailings through copalletizing and comailing.
Copalletization allows mailers to combine separate bundles on pallets – for example, combining multi-titled magazine packages from individual presorts on pallets with common destinations. Combining multiple Periodical titles that would otherwise be prepared in sacks makes it easier to reach palletization and drop ship volumes, and save 1-3% more on origin postage.
This is not to be confused with comailing, the combining and presorting of two or more titles into a single inducted job. This process allows mailers to eliminate sacks (expensive for mailers to produce and for the Postal Service™ to process) and reduce costs through more efficient processing. Mail that in the past may have been sacked is moved onto pallets and drop-shipped deeper into the mailstream for lower per-piece rates. This leads to more consistent and timely delivery – and as a bonus, mailpieces arrive in better condition thanks to less USPS® handling.
Currently, comailing for Standard Mail® and Periodicals allows mailers to achieve the finest presort level possible for jobs in those classes, while reducing their Outside-County postage. A Mixed Class comail option is also in the pilot phase: This would increase presort discounts by moving pieces to more finely presorted bundles, decrease the use of sacks, and lead to less bundle breakage and improved drop-ship discounts.
If you’re considering adding comailing to your workflow, first examine the makeup of your mailings to see whether the process will work for you. Also, be sure to determine whether your equipment would support comailing; then consider the addressing restrictions, trim size limitations and your in-home delivery dates. (If your operation mails several non-static pieces – as news publications with several last-minute changes, for instance – comailing may not be right for you.)
As the industry moves more toward combining mailings, mailers should evaluate the opportunity to see if it can work for them. For more information on comailing, DMM sections 340 and 705 outline the standards for Standard Mail and Periodical comailing, respectively. BCC Vice President of Software Engineering Bob Schimek will be giving more details about comailing in this blog soon.