Tuesday, October 5, 2010

US Post Office Creates 'Droop' Standard - Impacts Newspaper Delivery Costs

The USPS will be implementing new standards effective Sunday October 3rd that will charge newspapers more if the paper droops more than 3 inches. This cost change is in place because a droopy paper cannot be placed into an automatic sorter and must be sorted by hand.

Per an AP Newstory, the post office will place the paper on a counter with a flat edge, with half of the item hanging from the edge. If it droops more than 3 inches, it fails. This means there would be no bulk discount. The impact of this would be moving the mailing costs from 5.9 cents per paper to 9.9 cents.

The AP also reports that one good way around this problem may be for a paper to use a stiff insert to keep the paper from drooping.

"Maybe you can use (a stiff) insert. If it's an advertising insert, it pays for itself. If it's not, it just makes the paper heavier and costs more to mail anyway," said Tres Williams of the Arkansas Press Association.
The net impact on the cost is a 68% increase for those mailed editions.  There are some possibilities that some discounts will still be available, and some creative solutions may come into place to reduce those costs, but expectations are that there will indeed to increased costs for those papers primarily mailed.

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