Mailmark poly-wrap large letter testing

Mailmark poly-wrap large letter testing

We are working closely with customers to improve the barcode read rate performance of Mailmark poly-wrapped large letters. To continue the progress made in resolving this issue we are extending the period of testing poly-wrapped large letters until 30 June 2019.

The testing results so far

Over the past year we have worked with mail producers to help them understand the causes of poor barcode readings, testing 221 mailings between October 2017 and May 2018. Clear results are emerging from the testing as follows:

  • Laser printing performs better than inkjet printing with recent mailings demonstrating a barcode read rate of 91% for laser printing compared to 74% when using inkjet printing;
  • Performance using ink jet is improving with the most recent test mailing in April achieving a barcode read rate of 94%;
  • 1C mailing items are sometimes processed manually to ensure they achieve the required quality of service. This results in lower barcode read rates.

How to participate in the testing

If you would like us to work with you to improve on the performance of your Mailmark poly-wrapped large letters, you simply need to participate in the next testing period which runs from now until 30 June 2019. To enable Royal Mail to monitor the test results more effectively and provide you with specific feedback on your individual mailings, participating customers must do the following:

  1. Register with us – customers can register to participate in the testing by simply emailing the Mailmark Quality Team at and providing their Mailmark participant ID. Customers mailing 1C poly-wrapped large letter items do not need to register but they must identify poly-wrapped large letter items on the eManifest and in the barcode (see Annex A). If you are an Access Letters contract holder or a mail producer you may apply to register on behalf of your customers; and
  2. Identify poly-wrapped large letter items on the eManifest and in the barcode – customers must include references in their eManifest and Mailmark barcode to indicate that they are mailing poly-wrapped large letters. Appendix A to this letter provides guidance on how to do this.

Subject to the items meeting the Mailmark specification, customers that meet both requirements above, will benefit from a 20% tolerance per eManifest before we apply non-machine processed charges to poly-wrap large letter items that are not be read by our machines. For example, if Royal Mail is unable to read the Mailmark barcode on 26% of the poly-wrap large letter items you submit, we will apply the non-machine processed charges to 6% of those items.