201a, Designing Letters and Cards for Automated Processing
Physical Standards (201.3.0, 207.3.0)
Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces.
For an overview of designing letters for automated processing, see Quick Service Guide 201a.
Prices and Fees (207.1.0)
Prices include piece charges, pound prices (advertising and nonadvertising), and applicable discounts.
In-County prices include piece prices, pound prices (DDU and other), and DDU discount.
Pound Prices—Advertising pounds based on destination entry and zone. Nonadvertising pounds based on destination entry and all other zones.
Piece Prices—The presort level of pieces prepared loose (no bundles) in full trays is based on the tray level. Pieces in bundles, piece price based on bundle level (six or more pieces).
Bundle Prices—Bundle prices do not apply to “loose” pieces in full trays. Bundle prices for bundles in less than full trays are based on the bundle and container level. For bundles and containers with both In-County and Outside-County pieces, mailers do not pay the bundle or container charges for carrier route, 5-digit carrier routes, and 5-digit/scheme bundles, pallets, and trays.
Container Prices—Based on the container type, container level, and entry. For mailings prepared in trays, mailers pay the container price for each tray based on container level and entry
Destination entry prices (DDU, DSCF, DADC, and DNDC) have additional standards (207.29.0). The mail must be addressed for delivery within that facility‘s service area.
Ride-Along price of $0.165 available for items up to 3.3 ounces (or not more than the weight of the host publication) eligible as USPS Marketing Mail (207.15.0).
Eligibility Standards (207.4.0)
For authorized publications whose primary purpose is transmitting information. Periodicals must be issued at least four times a year at a stated frequency from a known office of publication and be formed of printed sheets. General publications must have a legitimate list of subscribers, and Requester publications must have a legitimate list of requesters or subscribers. All pieces within each mailing must be in the same processing category. Mailings eligible for barcoded letter prices must be automation-compatible (201.3.0), Intelligent Mail barcoded (204.1.0), and sorted as described below.
Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.
For address standards, see 207.4.0; for barcode quality standards, see 204.1.0; and for CASS/MASS standards, see 602.9.0.
Addresses matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing.
All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, and meter reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 207.14.2.
Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes, see 202.7.0.
Postage Payment and Documentation (207.16.0, 207.17.0)
Advance deposit account(s) at the original and each additional entry Post Office, unless authorized under Centralized Postage Payment (CPP) (207.16.5).
Mail Preparation (207.24.0)
1-foot or 2-foot trays used where appropriate (e.g., when there is enough mail to fill a 2-foot tray, a 2-foot tray must be used).
Pink barcoded tray labels required (207.21.0).
Trays sleeved and strapped (207.20.0). See 188.8.131.52 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF. Strapping not required on trays placed on 5-digit, 3-digit, and SCF pallets that are secured with stretchwrap.
Enter and Deposit (207.29.0)
Deposit only at authorized original and additional entry Post Office(s), unless authorized exceptional dispatch under 207.29.4.
Traying Sequence (207.24.0)
Trays: Optional, but required for 5-digit price. At least 150 pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code or 5–digit scheme destination; bundling not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.
Line 1: For 5-digit scheme trays, use destination in L012. For 5–digit trays, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.
Trays: Required, at least 150 pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code or 3-digit scheme destination; bundling not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination.
Exception: One less-than-full tray must be prepared for any remaining pieces for each 3-digit ZIP Code or 3-digit scheme of origin post office.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column B, for destination facility.
Trays: Required, at least 150 pieces to same AADC; bundling not permitted; only one overflow tray permitted per destination. Pieces must be grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix or 3-digit scheme if applicable.
For Line 1, use L801, Column B, for destination facility.
Trays: Required, any remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays grouped by AADC; only one less-than-full mixed AADC tray permitted per mailing.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L011, Column B, for destination facility (for NDC/ASF entry, use L010, Column B).
Bundling required for mailings consisting entirely of card-size pieces and for pieces in overflow and less-than-full trays. The maximum thickness for a bundle is 6 inches.
1. For prices, see Notice 123–Price List.
2. Use “NEWS” if issued weekly or more frequently.
3. Use “5D BC” on 5-digit trays; use “BC 5D SCHEME” on 5-digit scheme trays.
4. For news 5-digit scheme trays, use “NEWS LTR BC 5D SCHEME.”
5. Use “3D BC” on 3-digit trays; use “BC SCHEME” on 3-digit scheme trays and, if applicable, as shown in L002, Column B, followed by the letter “A,” “B,” or “C.”