How eLOT (Enhanced Line of Travel) from USPS Saves Money
Enhanced Line of Travel (eLOT) is an alphanumeric code that outlines the most efficient route mail carriers can follow as they deliver their parcels. eLOT numbers are managed by the United States Postal Service (USPS), allowing organizations to sort their mailings in approximate carrier-casing sequence and qualify for bulk mailing discounts.
When paired eLOT with Delivery Sequence File 2 (DSF2), a data processing service managed by the USPS, businesses can gain a comprehensive solution for efficient bulk mailing. DSF2 refines these lists by identifying undeliverable addresses and duplicates, enhancing cost-effectiveness.
Finding eLOT codes is easy using USPS tools, CASS-certified address verification software, and other 3rd party shipping utilities.
Smarty's suite of address tools can help you look up one, many, or millions of eLOT codes at a time.
|Single Address eLOT Lookup||Bulk Address eLOT Lookup||eLOT Lookup via API|
In this article, we'll cover:
- What is eLOT?
- eLOT by the numbers
- How businesses save money using eLOT
- Delivery Sequence File 2 (DSF2) and eLOT help companies save more
- Key Takeaways
What is eLOT?
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, eLOT stands for Enhanced Line of Travel and was developed by the United States Postal Service to speed up mail delivery. You've almost certainly experienced it in action, even if you don't know it. For example, imagine you're at home and need to go to a specialty store you've never been to. You enter the name of the store into your preferred GPS device and are presented with several options for how to get there.
Typically, your GPS device will highlight the fastest route. It'll also display alternate routes with tags showing how long you may have to travel if you use them. In this example, whichever of the routes you choose becomes your line of travel or the path you'll take to get you to your destination.
Now, say you must make several other stops before you get home from the specialty store. If you're like us, you'll plan your route to be as efficient as possible, making the additional stops in the order they arrive. In this case, the roads you take to accomplish your tasks are your line of travel, but this new efficient, multi-stop route is your enhanced line of travel or the way that will save you the most time, money, and effort.
The USPS uses eLOT to help them sort the more than 421 million mail pieces they deliver each day into an order as close as possible to the approximate delivery sequence a mail carrier will travel on their carrier route. And just like your enhanced trip to the specialty store saved you time and money, eLOT does the same for the USPS.
eLOT By the Numbers
Now that you know what Enhanced Line of Travel does, let's geek out and look at an example of an eLOT alphanumeric code. Here's one for the Owensboro Convention Center in Kentucky:
01 = Low Delivery Point Code - The last two digits of the primary delivery address number. Using a secondary algorithm, the postal service calculates codes for structures with multiple delivery points.
03 = High Delivery Point Code - The last two digits of the primary delivery address number. Codes for structures with multiple delivery points are calculated using a secondary algorithm. In this example, the Convention center could have three delivery points.
A = Ascending/Descending Flag - Indicates if the address building numbers in this section of the carrier route are getting larger or smaller.
0107 = eLOT Sequence Number - Indicates the order in which the mail carrier can deliver the items to this address compared to those nearby. For example, the sequence number for the next address on the carrier route would likely be 0108.
How Businesses Save Money Using eLOT
Sorting deliverables using Enhanced Line of Travel helps the US Postal Service save time and money by streamlining its delivery process. But the USPS is willing to pass those savings on to businesses who effectively presort their bulk mailings using the eLOT system.
Smarty makes qualifying for eLOT savings easy because we include an Enhanced Line of Travel data point in our address validation output. You can see how it works for free using one of Smarty's address tools.
Delivery Sequence File 2 (DSF2) and eLOT Help Companies Save More
Another way businesses can save money on bulk mailings, similar to eLOT, is by sorting by Delivery Sequence File 2 (DSF2). DSF2 helps clean and update mailing lists by identifying undeliverable addresses, duplicates, or other issues. Businesses can avoid wastage and save on postal service costs by ensuring that sent mailings are to accurate and deliverable addresses.
DSF2 isn't something Smarty offers, but it might be helpful. It can also be effective at helping businesses to target specific demographics or address types. By providing a large amount of metadata with each address, DFS2 files can be sorted and used however is most beneficial. This is similar to the metadata included using Smarty's address verification tools.
Now, imagine what you can save by combining DSF2 and eLOT. First, you validate your addresses and use DSF2 to optimize your mailing lists, then use eLOT to sort it into the USPS delivery route, and BOOM! Maximum bulk mail discounts.
When it comes to getting important mail into mailboxes, technology like Enhanced Line of Travel and DSF2 helps local mail carriers do their jobs more effectively. And as businesses focus on faster, more accurate delivery, they're rewarded with substantial savings. So do yourself a favor and check out Smarty's address verification. And if you want to dive deeper into the data and see even more mail-simplifying acronyms, check out Smarty's API docs page.