Understanding the difference between commingled mail and co-palletized mail is helpful for anyone involved in direct mailings.
A commingled mailing is a blended mailing: Your mail is mixed with mail from other organizations in order to achieve USPS discounts. Diverse clients, postage payment types, rates and mail piece weights are all strategically tossed together, like a very orderly salad in a large rectangular salad bowl. Commingled mail qualifies for steep postage discounts, because it’s sorted to final levels. Destination entry discounts are also achieved because mail is delivered closer to its final destination.
Co-palletized mail also involves combining mail: Here we are talking about sharing trays of mail on a pallet, versus sharing pieces of mail in a tray. Co-pal mailers also get a discount: Combining mailings into larger entries allows for dropping mail deeper into the mail stream.
Both commingled mail and co-palletized mail reduce the times the USPS touches your mail, resulting in faster shipping and discounts. Keep in mind this co-pal process doesn’t improve the qualification level of a container: If your trays are sorted to the 3 digit level, they will remain at a 3 digit sort. You miss out on the commingling discount when you go straight co-pal, but it’s still highly advantageous for mailers.
Ask your mail services specialist which option is right for you, and under what circumstances.