Max Heath, National Newspaper Association Postal Committee chairman, offers these tips for newspapers affected by the planned closure of three mail-processing facilities in Indiana:
• Newspapers should use “Exceptional Dispatch” privileges in DMM 707.28.3 to drop as much carrier-route sorted mail into the offices where it is delivered inside the primary market area, usually a county. There is a discount for such drops. And the papers can be in unsacked bundles to Destination Delivery Units.
• Newspapers should discuss with the manager of the plant to be closed whether any direct (5-digit/carrier-route) containers to post offices within the 3-digit service territory outside the primary market area can be handed off to the existing post-office network without moving that mail all the way to the more distant receiving plant.
“We have pretty firm promises, strengthened by NNA’s intervention in the service standards case accompanying these changes, that this will be the case,” Heath said. “Vice President of Network Operations David Williams repeated in a meeting with me recently that USPS doesn’t want to incur excess transportation costs to run certain containers up and down the road without any processing need. Direct containers don’t get opened and worked until they get to their destination ZIP.”
• Newspapers need to clean up any non-codable addresses (not showing 9-digit ZIP) remaining in the 3-digit-sorted “working” mail container to get as many of them as possible into direct containers.
“While it won’t be possible to eliminate all of them, at least you maximize delivery of all you can,” Heath said. “Odds are, any working container for 3-digits will go ‘upstream’ and of course be delayed.”