Live from the Industry/USPS Flats Summit: Flats Facts Nothing to Sneeze At

Washington–Criticized by the Office of Management & Budget and other government agencies for years for not achieving the kinds of automation savings it has gotten from letter automation, the U.S. Postal Service is intent on attacking its biggest Achilles heal: the automation of flats, or oversized mail, such as catalogs and magazines.

In presenting its strategy for bulk flats—including most catalogs—during this week’s Industry/USPS Flats Summit in Washington, the USPS brought out a number of key statistics regarding flats.

*-flat mail represents about 25% of total mail volume

*-flats amounted to 51.6 billion pieces delivered last year worth $14.6 billion to the USPS in revenue

*-nearly half of all postal revenue comes from Standard Mail

*-70% of postal flats revenue comes from Standard Mail

*-53% of flat mail is presorted to carrier route; 47% needs processing