Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway is “the reliable constant” for people who need them to never stop moving. And they don’t. Every year, BNSF moves untold tons of freight across its more than 32,500 route miles, serving the western two-thirds of the United States as well as portions of Canada and Mexico.
With a history that spans more than 160 years, BNSF has employed many thousands of people in that time. The company’s Topeka office is responsible for mailing out letters, invoices to freight clients, along with pay and pension checks and paystubs to the railway’s current and retired employees. According to Bruce Kahre, supervisor of the print shop and mailroom, that can total as many as 25,000 pieces of mail every month.
Ensuring the timely delivery of these critical mailings has always been important to BNSF. Some years ago, the company took stock of how much was being spent on postage. The company was determined to trim this expense and was determined to find a better way to process its outbound mail.
"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 railroad business is built on moving things forward. It was with that same spirit that BNSF partnered with Lineage Mailing Services to take advantage of valuable First Class Pre-sorting savings. Once teamed up, Lineage began to pick up BNSF’s outgoing mail daily. Once the mail is brought back to Lineage’s Lenexa processing center, the delivery address is scanned, it is e-forward verified, the IMb (intelligent mail barcode) is added to the face of the envelope, and then it is inducted into the USPS mail stream for delivery 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,” said Kahre. “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 Pre-sort rate, which earns us a discount on First Class mail.”
The mail still receives the same service as First Class mail, but is discounted because of a work-share program Lineage Mailing has with the USPS, where Lineage does the processing directly at its Lenexa center.
There is certainty in simplicity.
Lineage’s mail pre-sorting service has done three things for BNSF: ensured timely pick-up of the company’s daily mail, guaranteed timely delivery of its critical mailings to the USPS, and guaranteed postage savings based on the pre-sort rate. It’s a process of which everyone can be proud.
So how does it work? It’s fast, convenient, reliable, and economical.
“Say you had a 2-oz. letter, and you need USPS postage to mail it. Currently, it’s going to cost you 71 cents without pre-sorting,” explained Lineage’s Tony Kuchta. “When you use First Class Pre-sort, all of your mail (1-oz. up to 3.5-oz.) goes out at the lower 1-oz. rate. So, if you pre-sort a 2-oz. letter, you’re going to save 21 cents, and for a 3-oz piece of mail, the savings is 42 cents. Do a couple hundred or thousand pieces every day, and you can see how quickly it adds up.”
“Now, 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 having that returned to us,” added Kahre. “They charge us only for the postage; it’s a quality control feature of our mailing process. I can tell you that this decision to use the pre-sorting service has been really good.”
And customer service?
“Lineage has been great,” said Kahre. “They’re always available to address any of our needs. I can’t say enough about their dependability and their willingness to answer any questions we may have. I’d definitely recommend others use them for First-Class Pre-sorting, as well as for First Class letters, flats, (large envelopes), and parcels.”
That’s how you keep things on track.