For the cheapest postage rates, bulk mailers such as mailing houses use postal contractors that are classed as Downstream Access (DSA). Bulk mail is collected and distributed by one of these DSA contractors then handed over to Royal Mail mail centres for final processing onto local delivery offices, where they are delivered. 
Using these services, mailing houses can offer their clients a discounted rate for bulk mailing that is considerably cheaper than stamps or franking. In some cases mail can be pre-sorted for further savings and often at half the cost of a stamp or less. 
 
The ability to utilise the Royal Mail network in this way was first introduced in 2003. With the final abolition of the Royal Mail monopoly (but not its universal service obligation), DSA mail makes up an ever increasing proportion of mail received in the UK. Royal Mail receives 99.8 percent of the mail handled by these third party suppliers. The Postal Services Commission restricts the prices at which Royal Mail sells this downstream access to third party companies and in turn the DSAs can pass on savings to their customers. At 05 Direct Mail, Stockport we use DSA for our client's mail wherever possible to be able to offer the lowest postal rates not only in the north west but nationally. 
 
DSA Providers in the UK include: 
• MiPost 
• Secured Mail 
• UK Mail 
• Whistl 
• DX Network Services 
• Citipost 
• ONEPOST 
• Northern Mail 
• FDM PLC 
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