Although the world is increasingly making the switch towards digital, there are a lot of letters and parcels sent physically through the mailing system. That is the postal mail system. Earlier, stamping was the norm. A lot of guesswork went into sending your parcels or items.
What’s even more problematic was that the postal rates underwent a change or an upgrade regularly. Now, this further raised the likelihood of an incorrect amount of stamps put onto the parcel. To this day, a franking machine makes for an excellent solution.
So, what is a franking machine?
A franked mail is an advanced piece of equipment that makes postage convenient. The system is automated, and it helps you get the correct postage and stamp each time you intend to send a parcel. Why the term franking, though? Franking is the process of getting all your documents and postage items stamped. It includes marking and stamping items, parcels, and documents.
The traditional way of stamping
Given the estimation game, people often indulged in under- or over-stamping. When it came to under-stamping, using an incorrect amount often called for a financial penalty or non-delivery of the item. What’s worse, the recipient was held responsible for the payment of the fine. Now, in the modern-day, this could cause a lot of embarrassment. And more so if the item is for a customer or a client. The result was a loss of customers’ trust.
The study of postage stamps, philately, has some crucial terminologies that you should know. The brief philatelic glossary is below.
First up is Cancellation. It is the process of applying a postal marking on top of the stamp. What this does is that it shows that the item is sent out through the post. Also, it is defaced, and hence, it is non-reusable. Another process is Perforation. It is the procedure that makes separating individual stamps easier. It does this by removing small pieces of paper from the gaps between the stamps. If you have ever been to a post office, you will see that they get torn to separate from the batch. So, how does one know that a stamp is a used one or not? The postal stamp often bears, at least in part, the postmark on which it was attached. Also, there is ‘Mint’. The mint is a stamp in perfect condition. It is uncancelled and carries its original gum.
Franking machines as the solution
The gamut of franking machines removes the need for guesswork. With this, users always use the correct postage rates. The reason is that it is product-based. The endgame is that senders and receivers avoid wasted money. Also, there are advanced and intelligent services out there that further remove the need for any speculation.
Next, we delve into how a franking machine helps determine the correct postage and stamp.
Determining the correct postage and stamp
The postage amount required is typically dependent on the triumvirate of weight, size and shape, and thickness.
However, additional factors come into play. Be it tracking the delivery or getting delivery confirmation. Thanks to the digital space that enables the parties to track the item of postage. Another aspect is domestic parcels versus international parcels. Also at stake is the urgency of delivery. If the document needs to be sent within a certain period for the recipient to have the same at their disposal, you will need to go for the speedier services.
Services such as tracking and insurance are the picks of the parties. So, depending on the safety and security needs, the franking and postage costs will differ.
The basic parameters of weight, size, and shape, and thickness are below:
Typically, a postage item that weighs an ounce or less gets subjected to the forever stamp. Recently, since 29th August, the cost has increased from 55 cents to 58 cents. Anything above that shall cost an additional 20 cents (same as before). There is also the metered mail. It is prepaid and requires no postage stamp.
According to the mailing and postage system, a small letter must weigh up to 100 grams and a larger one up to 750 grams. However, not only paper documents but even clothing, shoes, and handbags are dispatchable via post. Anything that weighs 2 kgs or below constitutes a small parcel.
Size and Shape
A letter is a generic term that embodies cards, letters, and bills. If it is sized and shaped to a length of 240mm and width of 165mm, it is considered a small letter. A larger letter is A4-size and non-foldable. The dimensions are 353mm and 250mm in length and width, respectively. When it comes to clothing and handbags, up to 45 cm in length and 35 cm in width, they are small sizes. For shoes, on the other hand, the small size is up to 35cm in length and 25 cm in width.
The third pillar in postage is thickness. When it comes to letters, the small ones should have a thickness of up to 5mm and the larger ones 25mm.
Note that the above is for only a handful of categories. There are many things you can dispatch through the post, such as books, bottles, and glasses.
Franking saves costs and worries for individuals and businesses as one need not go through the traditional post office. Today, the gamut of franking is extensive, especially with intelligent mailing services out there. Notable ones are digital printers and addressing systems and postage meters, and mailing systems. The former is ideal for commercial use as it helps with trans-promotional marketing. Also, there are color and thickness options. The latter combines mail and parcel processing into a unified and simple solution. Another service of note is the document handling service which safeguards the mail contents.