Revisions to Optional FSS Mail Preparation Requirements
The United States Postal Service published revised mail preparation requirements for the Flat Sequence System (FSS) mail in the January 27, 2011 Postal Bulletin. We first told you about these new optional mail preparation requirements in August, 2010.
This is an optional mail preparation program for flat-sized mail destined to ZIP Codes that are serviced by postal processing facilities that have FSS equipment. The Flats Sequencing System is part of the USPS strategic plan to increase mail processing efficiency and reduce costs. This equipment sorts flat-sized mail into delivery sequence, thereby reducing the time mail carriers spend manually sorting flat-sized mail into their walk/delivery sequence. FSS machines are quite large and very expensive, so they are currently only deployed in certain areas of the country.
There is a new Labeling List, L006, which details the ZIP Codes currently available for these optional mail preparation rules. The effective date for this new option was January 2, 2011.
The Original Rules
The original preparation rules called for FSS-specific bundle preparation (larger, more consistent size bundles) and pallet preparation (larger pallets directed to the FSS areas). These optional preparation rules were developed by the USPS in conjunction with the flats mailing industry and allow for more efficient loading of mail onto the FSS equipment, but it should also result in improved efficiencies for mailers - as larger, more consistent bundle and pallet sizes are more efficient to produce. The original pallet preparation options are as follows:
- A 5-digit FSS-scheme ZIP Code combination (including one or more 5-digit ZIP Codes);
- FSS facility sort (all 5-digit FSS-scheme ZIP Code combinations processed within the same facility); or
- A sectional center facility (SCF) with FSS capability, when combined on pallets with flat-size mailpieces not intended for FSS processing.
Bundles on these pallets must be of uniform height, with a minimum of 3 inches in height and a maximum of 6.5 inches in height. One overflow bundle of remaining pieces is allowed to be smaller in height than the other bundles on the pallets.
There is also FSS-specific verbiage in the Optional Endorsement Line (OEL) used to identify the mail in the bundles, and on the pallet placards used to identify the mail on the pallets.
What are the Changes?
In the revisions published this week, the USPS added the ability to place 5-digit FSS scheme bundles onto other level pallets, or into sacks or other containers, when there is not sufficient volume to create the 5-digit FSS scheme pallets. When these bundles are placed into sacks, or alternate USPS- approved containers, these sacks or container must bear an Intelligent Mail Tray Label. Also, the barcode on the tray label must contain the Container Identification Number (CIN) for the barcoded (or automation) 5-digit scheme sortation level for the applicable class of mail.
Additional details on the revisions to these optional preparation requirements may be found in the January 27, 2011 Postal Bulletin.
Don’t miss out on our educational mailing webinars!
Log on to our webinar registration site to sign up.