DMM TOC > 400 Discount Parcels > 430 First-Class Mail|
Presort is the process by which a mailer prepares mail so that it is sorted to at least the finest extent required by the standards for the rate claimed. Generally, presort is performed sequentially, from the lowest (finest) level to the highest level, to those destinations specified by standard and is completed at each level before the next level is prepared. Not all presort levels are applicable in all situations. [M011.1.1]
a. General. A mailing is a group of pieces within the same class of mail and the same processing category that may be sorted together and/or presented under a single minimum volume mailing requirement under the applicable standards. Generally, types of mail that follow different flows through the postal processing system must be prepared as a separate mailing.
b. 3‑digit: the ZIP Code in the delivery address on all pieces begins with the same three digits (see L002, Column A).
c. Origin/optional entry 3‑digit(s): the ZIP Code in the delivery address on all pieces begins with one of the 3‑digit prefixes processed at the sectional center facility (SCF) in whose service area the mail is verified/entered. Subject to standard, a separation is required for each such 3‑digit area regardless of the volume of mail.
d. ADC: all pieces are addressed for delivery in the service area of the same area distribution center (ADC) (see L004).
a. Pieces refers to individually addressed mailpieces. This definition also applies when pieces is used in eligibility standards. Quantities indicated for optional or required sortations always refer to pieces unless specifically excepted.
c. An origin 3‑digit (or origin 3‑digit scheme) tray/sack contains all mail (regardless of quantity) for a 3‑digit ZIP Code (or 3‑digit scheme) area processed by the SCF in whose service area the mail is verified. If more than one 3‑digit (or 3‑digit scheme) area is served, as indicated in L005, a separate tray/sack must be prepared for each.
d. The required at [quantity] instruction (e.g., "required at 10 pieces") means that the particular unit must be prepared for the corresponding presort level whenever the specified quantity of mail is reached or exceeded. Bundles and containers may contain more than the specified required at quantity up to the applicable maximum physical size. Subject to applicable rate eligibility standards, smaller quantities may be prepared only if permitted. Where specified by standard, required preparation applies only if the mailer chooses to qualify for the corresponding rate.
e. Entry [facility] (or origin [facility]) refers to the USPS mail processing facility that serves the post office at which the mail is entered by the mailer. If the post office where the mail is entered is not the one serving the mailer's location, the post office of entry determines the entry facility. Entry SCF includes both single‑3‑digit and multi‑3‑digit SCFs.
f. The group pieces instruction means the pieces are to be sorted together as if to be bundled but not actually secured into a bundle. Bundle labels and other bundle identification methods may be used for unsecured groups of pieces as permitted by standard.
g. A bundle is a group of addressed pieces secured together as a unit. The presort process considers the total number of pieces available for the particular presort destination and assembles them into groups meeting applicable volume and size standards. When the standards for the rate claimed require securing the pieces in each group together, the result is a bundle. The term bundle does not apply to unsecured groups of pieces. Bundle preparation is described in 435.2.0.
h. A "logical" presort destination represents the total number of pieces that are eligible for a specific presort level based on the required sortation, but which might not be contained in a single bundle or in a single container (i.e., sack, pallet) due to applicable preparation requirements or the size of the individual pieces. For example, there may be 42 mailpieces for ZIP Code 43112 forming a First‑Class Mail "logical" 5‑digit bundle, and they are prepared in three physical 5‑digit bundles because of the applicable weight and height restrictions on bundles. [M011.1.3]
A bundle is a group of addressed pieces secured together as a unit. The presort process considers the total number of pieces available for the particular presort destination and assembles them into groups meeting applicable volume and size standards. When the standards for the rate claimed require securing the pieces in each group together, the result is a bundle. The term bundle does not apply to unsecured groups of pieces. [M011.1.3z]
Bundling is not required if the parcels are 1/2 inch thick or greater and placed in a sack to the same destination to which they would otherwise be bundled (e.g., in a 3‑digit sack rather than in a 3‑digit bundle). Bundling also is not required if the parcels are so large that 10 or fewer fill a sack. [M130.5.1]
c. When counter‑stacking, pieces must all have addresses facing up and be divided into no more than four approximately equal groups, with each group rotated 180 degrees from the preceding and succeeding group(s); prepare as few groups as possible to create a bundle of uniform thickness.
e. When pieces are nonuniform in thickness because they are thicker in the center instead of along an edge or corner, counter‑stacking will generally not result in a bundle of uniform thickness (i.e., a football‑shaped bundle would be created). Instead of counter‑stacking such pieces, limit the height (thickness) of the bundle to 3 to 6 inches to ensure the bundle will stay together during normal transit and handling. [M020.1.2]
b. Bundles must be secured with banding, shrinkwrap, or shrinkwrap plus one or more bands. Banding includes plastic bands, rubber bands, twine/string, and similar material. Use of wire or metal banding is not permitted.
d. Bundles over 1 inch high (thick) must be secured with at least two bands or with shrinkwrap. When double banding is used to secure bundles, it must encircle the length and girth of the bundle at least once. Additional bands may be used if none lies within 1 inch of any bundle edge.
a. A greater number of pieces would exceed the maximum physical size for a bundle and the total number of pieces for that presort destination meets the minimum volume standard (e.g., 30 pieces are available to meet a 10‑piece minimum, but a bundle of eight pieces is 6 inches thick).
b. The pieces constitute the "last bundle" for a presort destination and previously prepared bundles met the applicable minimum volume standard (e.g., 505 pieces prepared in 10 50‑piece bundles and one five‑piece bundle). [M020.1.7]
Unless excepted by standard, the presort level of each bundle must be identified either with an optional endorsement line under 708.7.0 or with a barcoded pressure‑sensitive bundle label. Bundle labels must not be obscured by banding or shrinkwrap. The following colors and presort characters apply to bundle labels:
An optional endorsement line (OEL) may be used to label bundles instead of applying pressure‑sensitive bundle labels or facing slips to the top piece under 708.7.0. [M013.1.1]
Presort, presort levels, and standard preparation terms are defined in 1.0. [M033.1.4]
Mailings must be prepared in green sacks. A postmaster may authorize nonpostal containers for a small‑volume presorted mailing if the mailing weighs no more than 20 pounds, consists primarily of mail or bundles of mail for local ZIP Codes, and requires no USPS transportation for processing. [M033.1.2]
a. Placement. Line 1 must be the first visible line on the label. It must be completely visible and legible when placed in the label holder. This visibility is ensured if the top of this line is no less than 1/8 (0.125) inch below the top of the label when the label is cut and prepared.
b. Information. Line 1 must contain only the information specified by standard, including the appropriate destination facility prefix (e.g., "ADC"). Two zeros may follow the 3‑digit ZIP Code prefix required by labeling standards (e.g., 223 as 22300).
c. Overseas Military Mail. On 5‑digit sacks and trays for overseas military destinations, Line 1 shows, from left to right, "APO" or "FPO," followed by "AE" (for ZIP Codes within the ZIP Code prefix range 090‑098), "AA" (for ZIP Codes within the 3‑digit ZIP Code prefix 340), or "AP" (for ZIP Codes within the ZIP Code prefix range 962‑966), followed by the destination 5‑digit ZIP Code of the mail in the sack or tray. [M031.1.2]
a. Placement: Line 2 must be the second visible line on the label. This line must show the class and processing category of the mail in the sack and other information as specified by standards. [M031.1.3]
Line 3 (office of mailing or mailer information line) must be the bottom line of required information and must show either the city and state of the entry post office or the mailer's name and the city and state of the mailer's location. It is recommended that the mailer's name also appear with the city and state of the entry post office. [M031.1.4]
Lines 1 and 3 may contain abbreviated information if such abbreviations are those in the USPS City State Product or in Publication 65, National Five‑Digit ZIP Code and Post Office Directory. [M031.1.6]
b. Mailer‑produced barcoded labels must meet the standards in 708.6.0, Barcoding Standards for Container Labels.
b. Reflectance: minimum reflectance requirements in 708.6.2i..
Regardless of the method of postage payment, pieces of single‑piece rate First‑Class Mail may be presented with and reported on the same postage statement as pieces claimed at presort rates if the single‑piece rate pieces are physically separated from other pieces; bear no rate marking, or are marked only "First‑Class," or (if not affixed with full single‑piece rate postage) are marked "Single‑Piece" or "SNGLP" under 202.3.0 in addition to any other marking; and either have additional postage affixed to yield the correct amount on each piece or (if prepared with a corrective rate marking) have all additional postage paid at the time of mailing. [P100.2.5]
Bundling is generally required before sacking. A bundle must be prepared when the quantity of addressed pieces for a required presort level reaches a minimum of 10 pieces. Smaller volumes are not permitted except for mixed ADC bundles. Bundling is not required if the parcels are 1/2 inch thick or greater and placed in a sack to the same destination to which they would otherwise be bundled (e.g., in a 3‑digit sack rather than in a 3‑digit bundle). Bundling also is not required if the parcels are so large that 10 or fewer fill a sack. Preparation sequence, bundle size, and labeling:
1. Line 1: city, state, and 5‑digit ZIP Code on mail (see 4.3c. for overseas military mail).
1. Line 1: L002, Column A.
1. Line 1: L004, Column B.
1. Line 1: "MXD" followed by city, state, and 3‑digit ZIP Code prefix of facility serving 3‑digit ZIP Code prefix of entry post office, as shown in L002, Column C.