Bulk Mail Sort Guides

Address placement on enveloped or pieces

The following standards apply to enveloped, Standard Mail, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Library Mail flats mailed at presorted or automation prices:

  • The "top" of the mailpiece is either of the shorter edges.
  • The entire delivery address must be within the top half of the mailpiece (see Exhibit), Optimal placement is at the top edge (while maintaining the 1/8-inch clearance requirement).
  • If a vertical address will not fit entirely within the top half, the address may cross the midpoint if it is placed within 1 inch of the top edge.

Exhibit - Delivery Address on Enveloped, Polywrapped, and Card-Style Pieces

Presorted flat mailings

This section gives the steps for ordinary sortation of flat mail. This preparation must be used for pieces that are non-upgradeable; it also may be used for upgradeable pieces.

Requirements for presorted flat mailings

  • 200 or more identical pieces are required
  • Sort into ascending ZIP Code order according to the following instructions

Five Digit/Sort - Step 1

  • Put all the pieces into ZIP Code order.
  • Group or stack them according to the first 3 digits of their ZIP Codes.
  • When there are 15 or more pieces to the exact same 5-digit ZIP Code, band them into a package or packages. The maximum thickness of each package is 4 inches.
  • Label each package with a red label "D."
  • Go to step 2 with the remaining mail.

five digit/sort

Three Digit/Sort - Step 2

  • When there are 15 or more pieces (up to 4 inches thick) to the same 3-digit ZIP Code prefix, band them into packages.
  • Label each package with a green label "3."
  • Go to step 3 with the remaining mail.

three digit/sort

ADC Sort - Step 3

  • When there are 15 or more pieces (up to 4 inches thick) to the same ADC, band them into packages. Find the ADCs by using labeling list L004 (Zip Code Prefixes).
  • Label the packages with a pink label "A."
  • Go to step 4 with the remaining mail.

ADC sort

Mixed ADC Sort - Step 4

  • Package any remaining pieces in groups up to 4 inches thick.
  • Label each package with a tan label "MXD."

mixed ADC sort


  • Stickers are available in Postal Services. Questions regarding bulk mail preparation should be directed to 837-2300.
  • When the mailing is sent via PERMIT 1555, place two wide rubber bands around each bundle, and bring to 405 N. Jefferson Avenue, or make arrangements with Postal Services to pick up.