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Quick Service Guide 330b
Discount Flats First-Class Mail
Automation Flats

January 2006
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Related QSG

301a, Designing Flats for Automated Processing

 

Physical Standards (301)

Maximum weight: 13 ounces
For an overview of the physical standards for discount flats, see Quick Service Guide 301.

 

Rates and Fees (333.1)

Weight Not
Over
(ounces)

Mixed ADC

ADC 3-Digit 5-Digit
11 $0.359 $0.351 $0.339 $0.318
2 0.596 0.588 0.576 0.555
3 0.790 0.782 0.770 0.749
4 1.027 1.019 1.007 0.986
5 1.264 1.256 1.244 1.223
6 1.501 1.493 1.481 1.460
7 1.738 1.730 1.718 1.697

1. Nonmachinable surcharge of $0.058 may apply.

For weights up to 13 ounces, see 333.1.

Annual $160.00 presort mailing fee.

A $0.058 nonmachinable surcharge applies to pieces weighing 1 ounce or less if: (a) more than 11-1/2 inches long, or more than 6-1/8 inches high, or more than 1/4 inch thick or (b) has an aspect ratio (length divided by height) less than 1.3 or more than 2.5.

 

Content (333.2)

First-Class Mail is required for personal correspondence, handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. It may also be used for any mailable item, including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.

 

Eligibility Standards (333.5)

Mailings of 500 or more addressed pieces, automation-compatible (301.3), 100% ZIP+4 barcoded or delivery point barcoded (708.4), sorted and marked as described below.

Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. For address standards, see 333.5.5; for barcode quality standards, see 708.4; and for CASS/MASS standards, see 708.3.

Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 185 days before mailing with a USPS-approved address update tool (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, FASTforward, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement under 507). For an overview of the First-Class Mail Move Update standard, see Quick Service Guide 230a.

Addresses must be matched using a CASS/MASS-certified process within 185 days before mailing.

All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (business reply, courtesy reply, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.14.

Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes ("sticky notes") for an additional charge of $0.005. See 709.7.

 

Postage Payment and Documentation (334)

Precanceled stamp (604.3), meter (604.4), or permit imprint (604.5).

Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.

Documentation:

  • Postage statement: Form 3600-R or approved facsimile.
  • Form 3553 must be retained by mailer for 1 year (708.3.5.2).
  • Supporting documentation: required unless correct rate is affixed to each piece or unless each piece is of identical weight and separated by rate when presented for acceptance; documentation generated by PAVE-certified software (or printed in standardized format).

 

Mail Preparation (335)

Marking on each piece in the postage area (302.2): "Presorted (or PRSRT) First-Class" or "AUTO" and "First-Class." For optional location, see 201.3.

Barcoded tray labels required (335.4.9).

See reverse for preparation and labeling.

Flat trays capped (green side up) and secured with two straps.

Pieces meeting specifications for the automated flat sorting machine (AFSM) 100 in 301.3.3 must be prepared in separate bundles from pieces meeting specifications for the upgraded flat sorting machine (UFSM) 1000 in 301.3.4. Separate bundle minimums (335.2) must be met for each bundle type. Within each bundle, mailers may combine pieces of nonidentical weights if authorized under 334.3.1. AFSM 100 and UFSM 1000 bundles may be combined in the same tray.

Automation mailings prepared using tray-based preparation may not combine AFSM 100 and UFSM 1000 pieces in the same mailing.

Any mailing job that contains bundles of Presorted flats and bundles of automation flats must be cotrayed using 705.9.1.

 

Enter and Deposit (336)

Mailing entered at an acceptance point designated by USPS.

For the specific DMM standards applicable to this category of mail, consult the DMM sections referenced above and the general sections within each DMM module.

 

Bundle-Based Preparation (335.6.5)


5-Digit (Optional)

Bundles: Pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same 5-digit ZIP Code; fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Red Label 5 or optional endorsement line (OEL) (708.7).

Rate: 5-Digit


3-Digit (Required)

Bundles: Pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix; fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Green Label 3 or OEL.

Rate: 3-Digit

 


ADC (Required)

Bundles: Pieces must be bundled if 10 or more pieces to same ADC (see L004); fewer than 10 pieces in a bundle not permitted.

Labels: Pink Label A or OEL.

Rate: ADC


Mixed ADC (Required)

Bundles: Any remaining pieces must be bundled in mixed ADC bundles.

Labels: Tan Label X or OEL.

Rate: Mixed ADC

This graphic shows the packaging and traying sequence for First-Class Mail Automation Flats Package Based.

Trays: Optional, full trays only for bundles to same 5-digit ZIP Code; bundling not required in full trays; less-than-full trays not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.

Trays: Required, full trays only for bundles to same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix; less-than-full trays not permitted. (Exception: After all full trays are prepared, one less-than-full tray must be prepared for any remaining bundles for each 3-digit ZIP Code prefix of SCF serving post office where mail is verified.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column A, for destination facility.

Trays: Required, full trays only for bundles to same ADC (see L004); less-than-full trays not permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L004, Column B for destination facility.

Trays: Required for any remaining bundles. Only one less-than-full tray permitted.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use "MXD" followed by city, state, and ZIP Code of origin facility in L002, Column C.

For flats, a "full tray" is defined as one that contains at least a single stack of pieces lying flat that reaches bottom of handholds, but no more than can be contained in tray with cover secured in place with two straps. When possible, pieces must be placed in two stacks to optimize tray use. Total weight of tray must not exceed 70 pounds.

 

Tray Based Preparation (335.6.6)


5-Digit

Trays: Optional, 90-piece minimum, fewer pieces not permitted; one less-than-full or overflow tray allowed.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use city, state, and 5-digit ZIP Code on mail.

Rate: 5-Digit


3-Digit
 

Trays: Required, 90-piece minimum, fewer pieces not permitted; one less-than-full or overflow tray allowed. After all full trays are prepared, one less-than-full tray must be prepared for any pieces remaining for each origin 3-digit ZIP Code prefix.

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L002, Column A for 3-digit destinations.

Rate:3-Digit or ADC1

 


ADC 

Trays: Required, 90-piece minimum, fewer pieces not permitted; one less-than-full or overflow tray allowed; group pieces by 3-digit ZIP Code prefix. (Exception: Pieces do not have to be grouped by 3-digit ZIP Code if mailing is prepared using MLOCR and standardized documentation is submitted.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L004.

Rate: ADC

 


Mixed ADC 

Trays: Required, no minimum, group by ADC. (Exception: Pieces do not have to be grouped by ADC if mailing is prepared using MLOCR and standardized documentation is submitted.)

Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use "MXD" followed by city, state, and ZIP Code of origin facility in L002, Column C.

Rate: Mixed ADC

 

This graphic shows the packaging and traying sequence for First-Class Mail Automation Flats Tray Based.

1. ADC rate for any 3-digit origin tray containing fewer than 90 pieces.

For flats, a full tray is defined as one that contains at least a single stack of pieces lying flat that reaches bottom of handholds, but no more than can be contained in tray with cover secured in place with two straps. Total weight of tray may not exceed 70 pounds.

Mailers choosing to prepare their mail using the tray-based preparation option would not be eligible to prepare their mail as outlined in 705.9.

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