Ask Randy: Volume 5

Randy Weiler, SPC’s Director of Postal Affairs and Logistics, is here to help you navigate the labyrinth of the USPS. What does it take to efficiently move your projects through the USPS system? What efficiencies can you gain from SPC’s lettershop expertise? Who determines postal increases?

Every month, Randy fields your burning questions about mail and postal affairs in a Q&A format. You can email him at or post a question via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskRandyUSPS. We post the questions and his answers each month both here on the SPC blog and on social media.

1) What’s the difference between Co-Palletization and Commingled Mail?

Co-Palletization (Co-Pal) is a combined shipment method that is tray-based. Mail trays from one job are combined with mail trays for common destinations from other jobs to ship together. Co-Pal will not change the tray level: 5-digit mail stays 5-digit mail, but it can upgrade the entry from Origin to NDC or SCF or from NDC to SCF.

Commingle is a combined shipment method that is mailpiece-based. Mail from various jobs is combined via a commingle machine. This can improve not only entry of the mail, but also the mail qualification. For example, none entry AADC mail could upgrade to qualify as 5-digit SCF.

2) Has Informed Delivery (ID) proven advantageous for marketers? Or is this a service that mostly benefits individual mail recipients?
Answer: USPS results have shown a lift in response rates for mail recipients also enrolled in ID.

USPS data shows an open rate of 70% for ID Emails. More than twice the industry average. The general premise that those most interested in mail would tend to enroll in ID would suggest that ID enrollees would be more likely to respond to direct mail. The caveat is that the USPS is not sharing a list of those enrolled, so it is still hit or miss if the ID subscriber is in a marketing list.

3) How many mail pieces have you managed into the USPS in your career?
Answer: More than 3.1 billion
4) What happens to mail addressed to residences that are destroyed or become uninhabitable due to a natural disaster? (Submitted by Brian Ford, Epsilon)

Initially this mail would be held at the 5-digit delivery office for the mail recipient. After the route is resumed the mail carrier would note which mail pieces are no longer deliverable.

These pieces would then route back to the USPS as Nixie Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA). Eventually these addresses are entered into the global USPS software as undeliverable. The USPS will look for Change of Address (COA) information on these recipients. In absence of such they would just result in an undeliverable hit when NCOA is run.


Randy Weiler
Director Postal Affairs and Logistics

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