Can Co-Distribution Save You Money?
One of the biggest changes in the publication printing industry today has been in mailing. Mailing used to consist of applying customer-furnished labels to the publications, and printers would drop them into the closest Bulk Mailing Center (BMC). As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) created more complex sortation rules and subsequent pricing structures, printers have begun offering services to take advantage of potential discounts for their customers.
You've most likely heard printers offering savings through co-palletizing or co-mailing, or even co-mingling. These "co-distribution" strategies attempt to combine different publications/mail together to reduce postage costs and increase discounts.
In co-palletizing, the mailer places pre-addressed and presorted bundles/ packages of "Periodical Publications" on a pallet with other bundles to create more hub- and Area Distribution Center-eligible pallets. The pallets must drop-ship to receive the postage discounts. (Co-palletization does not change presort qualification.)
In co-mailing, a publication's address data file is added to those of other publications and/or versions, and presorted together into one mail stream to obtain a higher presort level, optimal penetration into the postal system and the maximum in drop-ship discounts. Each publisher benefits from the higher piece-count of a combined mailing and increases their eligibility for Carrier Route and automation discounts.
Benefits of co-mailing include:
• eliminating mail sacks and getting onto pallets;
• achieving piece discounts for copies moved to pallets;
• improving the presort;
• higher savings from drop-shipments;
• less handling; and
• quicker delivery (Finer presorts ship more directly to a postal facility nearer the final destination.)
Another option is co-binding and mailing, which coordinates the binding and mailing of two or more publications into one rate-saving mail stream. By co-binding and mailing publications (which must have similar specifications), an additional 4-percent to 5-percent savings can be achieved from fewer makereadies and longer runs, and postal savings from co-mailing. An example of such a system is Fry Communications Inc.'s Affinity Mailing program.