Just as the new 5.4 percent postal rate increases kicked in last week, the postal service will adopt new mail standards for Periodicals mail prepared in sacks, according to a DMM Advisory. The new standards will go into effect May 11.

Two new types of sacks are part of the new standard;a three-digit carrier routes sack and a merged three-digit sack;as well as a new minimum of 24 pieces for most other sacks.

According to the postal service, the new preparation will help control costs and keep prices reasonable. However, some observers say this could mean publishers will have to shell out more money. "Some of you will see modest rate increases from some loss of presort," David Straus, American Business Media’s postal counsel, wrote in an e-mail to ABM members last week.

Straus continued: "We have expressed concern about possible service degradation from the loss of, for example, a lot of 5-digit sacks, and USPS has said it is fully aware of our concerns and will take steps to alleviate them. Keep a close watch on whatever service data you have once the new preparation rules take effect."

Links: www.usps.gov

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