April 13, 2017
What many have long suspected has now been confirmed: The U.S. Postal Service’s Flats Sequencing System is a disastrous failure that cannot be fixed.
The FSS is adding so much to the costs of handling magazines, catalogs, and other flat mail that no amount of machinery tweaks, Lean Six Sigma projects, or “Tiger Teams” can ever make it right.
“When all processing and delivery costs are included, an average Periodicals flat addressed to an FSS zone costs over 10.5 cents more than if addressed to a non-FSS zone,” postal expert Halstein Stralberg wrote recently. Assuming the same 40% cost differential applies as well to flat-shaped Standard Mail, such as catalogs and retailer flyers, Stralberg’s analysis indicates that FSS is adding several hundred million dollars annually to the Postal Service’s costs.