Top 4 Postage Meter Companies

Updated: March 05, 2010

 

The 900 pound Mail Gorilla: Pitney Bowes

 

Pitney Bowes Inc.

1 Elmcroft Road

Stamford CT 06926-0700

800-322-8000

http://www.pb.com

 

When Americans think "postage meter," they think of Pitney Bowes. This indoctrination started back in 1902 when Arthur Pitney patented his hand-cranked postage stamping machine. By 1920, Pitney merged with Walter Bowes to win approval from the Post Office for their postage meter. Pitney Bowes was part of the original S&P 500 in 1957, and is one of the 87 original members still on the list.

How far does the mail gorilla reach? Into 130 countries, over two million customers, and more than 500 offices and resellers worldwide, populated by more than 35,000 employees. In the 1980s, Pitney Bowes owned 90 percent of the US market, and they still hold the majority, with experts arguing whether that means 60, 65, or 70 percent today.

Their postage meters are divided into a baker's dozen models, ranging from 18 letters per minute to 22,000 letters per hour (all speeds are optimistic best case estimates provided by the vendors themselves).

 

Model

Letters per minute

mailstation 2

18

DM100

30

DM200

40

DM300

65

DM400

120

DM425

120

DM525

150

DM575

175

DM825

200

DM875

230

DM925

250

DM1100

295

DM Infinity

22,000 letters per hour

 

Although you can only lease postage meters from approved dealers, supplies and support matter. In this case, PB again dominates, with more supplies outlets and local offices for service and support than anyone else. Companies in big cities have plenty of options, but those in Small Town USA almost always wind up with a Pitney Bowes meter in their office.

 

 

Together, the biggest in Europe: Neopost and Hasler

 

Neopost

478 Wheelers Farms Road

Milford, CT 06461

800-624-7892

www.neopostinc.com

 

Hasler

478 Wheelers Farms Road

Milford, CT 06461

800-995-2035

www.haslerinc.com

 

While Hasler is careful to explain that Neopost didn't acquire them, the real story provides little difference: Neopost SA, the French parent company, acquired the Ascom Hasler mail systems division from the Swiss group Ascom in late 2001. Neopost first produced franking (mailing) equipment in Europe in 1920. Together, Neopost and Hasler dominate the postage meter market in Europe and are second in the world only to Pitney Bowes.

They maintain almost completely separate sales organizations (175 branch offices and dealers for Neopost and 120 independent dealers for Hasler), but their products are relabeled versions of each other.

 

Neopost

Hasler

Letters per minute

IJ-25

WJ20

20

IS-330

IM330

35

IS-350

IM350

45

IS-420

IM420

65

IS-440

IM420

95

IS-460

IM460

125

IS-480

IM480

155

IJ-80

WJ185

185

IJ-90

WJ220

220

IJ110

WJ250

250

IJ15k

WJPRO

15,000 per hour

 

At the low end, they systems are quite comparable to the entry level products from Pitney Bowes and FP Mailing Solutions. Their systems cover the same range as their competitors and offer the same set of features. When searching beyond Pitney Bowes for options, you're most likely to find either a Neopost of Hasler dealer close by.

 

 

Also big in Europe: FP

 

FP Mailing Solutions

140 N. Mitchell Court, Suite 200

Addison, IL 60101-5629

800-341-6052

http://www.fp-usa.com/

 

Francotyp Postalia Mailing Solutions was created in the 1983 merger between Francotyp (1923) and Postalia (1938), two German companies. They still control about 45 percent of the German market, but are third worldwide behind Pitney Bowes and Neopost/Hasler.

Their smallest unit, the mymail 2, does look sleek enough to fit into the office décor without screaming "postage meter." The same look carries over to some of their larger systems.

 

Model

Letters per minute

mymail2

17

T-1000

25

optimail

27

optimail 30

32

ultimail 65

65

ultimail 95

120

centormail MAX 120

120

centormail MAX 140

140

 

FP Mailing Solutions focuses on the small and medium volume market. Their production machines top out well below their competition, but since the majority of companies are small to medium sized, they play well in the growing company market.

 

 

A high-volume firm moving down-market: Data-Pac

 

Data-Pac Mailing Systems Corp.

1217 Bay Road

Webster New York 14580

800-355-1775

http://www.data-pac.com

 

Webster NY based Data-Pac has been around for about 35 years and focuses on the middle to high volume market area. They plan a smaller unit capable of about 60 letters per minute in the third quarter of this year. Since their current models start at 160 letters per minute and go up to 250, they aren't mentioned in most lists of postage meter vendors. All their sales are direct, and the planned Easy Mailer model will likely be sold through their Web site.