BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway

 Mail presorting solutions reduce costs, improve results 

Industry: Transportation
Presented By: Lineage Connect
Post Modified: August 24th, 2023


BNSF Railway reduced postage costs while simplifying processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring accuracy.

Today’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway consists of nearly 400 different railroad lines combining services over the past 170+ years. This essential railway heritage presses forward as it serves shippers and the economy, moving freight across its more than 32,500 route miles spanning the western two-thirds of the United States and portions of Canada and Mexico. Their vast operation needed a vast outbound mailing solution to match, primarily a cost-effective way to send tens of thousands of mailpieces a month to both clients and employees. 

View of train tracks lined towards a horizon with hills and blue sky
"I can't say enough about their dependability and their willingness to answer any questions we may have."
Bruce Kahre, Print Shop and Mailroom Supervisor, BNSF Railway

The Problem

Operating for more than 170 years means BNSF has employed many thousands of people and served countless clients. 

BNSF’s Topeka office serves as a vital hub. One of their many operational responsibilities includes managing mail distributions to both clients and employees. For instance, they deliver letters and invoices to freight clients and paychecks and pension checks to current and retired employees. 

Bruce Kahre, Print Shop and Mailroom Supervisor at BNSF, notes that this adds up to as many as 25,000 pieces of mail every month. 

The timely delivery of these critical mailings is a priority for BNSF. A few years back, an in-depth evaluation of postage spending led to a simple yet essential conclusion: BNSF needed to reduce expenses and improve how it processed outbound mail. 

The Solution

The railroad business is built on moving things forward. With this spirit, BNSF partnered with Lineage Connect to tap into valuable First Class Presorting savings.

Once teamed up, Lineage began collecting BNSF’s outgoing mail daily. The Lineage team transported the mail to its Lenexa processing center to scan and e-forward-verify the delivery addresses, add the intelligent mail barcode (IMb) to the envelope faces, and send the mail to the USPS processing plant each night.

“We’re pretty busy here, so having that trusted relationship with Lineage has been a really good thing,” Bruce shared. “It’s such a simple change, but it’s been noticeable in all the right ways. Hey, ‘delivering’ is what we do, after all. Our mail gets to its destination in a timely fashion, and we’re saving money as an organization because of the First Class Presort rate, which earns us a discount on First Class mail.”

The mail, though discounted, receives the same service as First Class mail, thanks to Lineage Connect’s work-share program with the USPS, where Lineage does the processing directly at its Lenexa center.

The Results

Lineage Connect’s mail presorting service has offered BNSF a triple advantage: timely mail pickup, guaranteed delivery of critical mailings, and substantial postage savings. It’s a process that everyone is proud of.

A representative of Lineage explained the savings: “A 2-oz. letter currently costs 71 cents without presorting. Using First Class Presort, all of your mail (up to 3.5 oz.) goes out at the lower 1-oz. rate. So, if you presort a 2-oz. letter, you save 21 cents, and for a 3-oz piece of mail, you save 42 cents. Do a couple hundred or thousand pieces every day, and you can see how quickly it adds up.”

According to BNSF, the system also serves as a quality control measure. Bruce illustrated, “If we’ve accidentally missed adding postage to a piece of mail, Lineage takes care of that and forwards it on. There’s no delay in returning it to us. They just charge us for the postage. I can tell you that this decision to use the presorting service has been really good.”

Orange train moves with speed

“Having that trusted relationship with Lineage has been a really good thing.”


BNSF found a fast, reliable, and economical solution for their outgoing mail operation.

And through it all, Lineage Connect’s customer service remains a highlight of the relationship.

“Lineage has been great,” Bruce expressed. “I’d definitely recommend them for First-Class Presorting, as well as for First-Class letters, flats, and parcels.”

That’s how Lineage keeps things on track. Committed to traditional values yet always embracing forward-thinking solutions, Lineage Connect is ready to streamline and empower your business operations. Let us show you how.