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At Long Last, Catalogers Anticipate Rate Relief from USPS

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Danny Knackstedt
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Ever since 2007, when the Postal Service used new legislation to inflate rates for catalogers, which put a third of them out of business, catalog sellers and other users of the flats postal category have felt wronged by the United States Postal Service.

That feeling intensified a few years later with the boondoggle of the Flats Sequencing System, or FSS, that employed expensive new machines intended to make flats processing more efficient.

In recent talks with members of the Mailers' Technical Advisory Committee MTAC , USPS officials proposed to roll back some FSS directives causing price pain to catalogers and lowering flats volumes in postal facilities.

DMN has learned that, in meetings with MTAC officials, USPS revealed it intended to eliminate the FSS price cells with 2017 rate changes it files with the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The Postal Service will raise the piece per pound threshold for using FSS, allowing catalogers to add more pages to their books or use higher-weight paper.

When USPS last filed a price change, they made some of the FSS prep mandatory, and when you look at the pricing, it's higher than carrier route rates.

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Danny Knackstedt
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