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Quick Service Guide 705b

Special Standards

Pallets, Pallet Boxes, and Trays on Pallets

May, 11 2009
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General (705.8.1)

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Pallets are plastic or wooden platforms upon which mail (trays, sacks, bundles, or parcels) is stacked.

Dimensions (705.8.0)

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Pallets measure approximately 40 inches x 48 inches.

Height:

  • Maximum height with mail, single pallet: 77" (pallet + mail + top cap). Some Parcel Select mailings have different height requirements. See individual QSGs.
  • Maximum height, stacked pallets: 84" (pallets + mail + top caps).

Weight:

  • Minimum load: 36 linear feet of letter trays or 3 full levels of trays (72 linear feet of letter trays or 24 linear feet of flat trays for First-Class Mail). For bundles (flats), parcels, or sacks, 250 pounds. Trays on pallets and some Parcel Select mailings do not have minimum weight requirements. See 705.8.5.3 for exception to minimum weight.
  • Maximum weight: 2,200 pounds (pallet(s) + mail + top cap(s)).

Placards (705.8.6)

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Pallets are placarded according to content and destination of the mail.

At least two clearly visible placards must be affixed to two adjacent sides of each pallet.

Use pink placards for Periodicals or white placards for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail and Package Services, except that placards for Periodicals, bearing an Intelligent Mail container barcode and prepared in the optional smaller format under 708.6.6.6 may be white, but must include a pink vertical one-half inch wide identification bar along the left-hand side of the placard.

Placards must be at least 8 inches x 11 inches; lettering for required information must be at least 1/2 inch high.

Placards bearing Intelligent Mail container barcodes, prepared in the 8 inches by 11 inches format under 708.6.6, may be affixed beneath shrinkwrap or plasticwrap (until November 29, 2009). Placards prepared in the format measuring at least 4 X 7 inches, under 708.6.6.6, must be affixed to the outside of any shrinkwrap or plasticwrap. Under either option, mailers must affix placards so as to not obscure any required element of the placards and so that the placards remain secure throughout USPS processing.

Top Caps (705.8.2)

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Top caps may be used on any pallet. They must be used on stacked pallets when individual pallets do not have a sturdy, flat top surface. Top caps must be strapped or shrinkwrapped onto the pallet. Mailers must supply their own top caps.

Strapping and Shrinkwrap (705.8.1.3)

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Each pallet must be secured with at least two straps or bands or be wrapped with plastic shrinkwrap (or both). Shrinkwrap must be wrapped completely over the lip of the pallet.

Shrinkwrap is preferred for most pallets.

Stacking Pallets (705.8.3)

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Pallets may be stacked to a maximum of four high or 84 inches. Individual pallets must be strapped or shrinkwrapped (or both); the entire pallet stack must be securely banded (not shrinkwrapped). The heaviest pallet must be on the bottom of the stack; the lightest pallet must be on the top. There must be enough space between pallets to allow for a forklift.

Measuring a Pallet

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Measuring points on a pallet are shown on reverse.

How a pallet is measured is determined by the type of container (e.g., trays vs. sacks) and the type of discount. See individual Quick Service Guides.

Pallet Measurements

This graphic shows the points to the measuring of a pallet as described in the text.

Pallet Components

This graphic shows the components of a pallet as described in the text.

Stacked

This graphic shows how to stack a pallet as described in the text.

General (705.8.4)

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A pallet box is a sturdy corrugated fiberboard box placed on a pallet.

Pallet boxes may be filled with sacks or parcels (machinable or nonmachinable or both depending on price category). Mailers must supply their own pallet boxes, which must meet the requirements in 705.8.4.

Dimensions (705.8.4)

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Pallet Box (without pallet)

Base: 40 inches x 48 inches

Height:

  • For Parcel Select DSCF and DDU: not greater than 60 inches.
  • For Parcel Select OBMC Presort and BMC Presort: must equal 69 inches.

Pallet Box with Pallet

Height:

  • Maximum height, single pallet: 77 inches (pallet + pallet box + top cap).
  • Maximum height, stacked pallets: 84 inches (pallets + pallet boxes + top caps).

The contents may not stick up over the rim of the pallet box.

Weight:

  • Minimum weight: 250 pounds. See 705.8.3 for exception to minimum weight. Some Parcel Select mailings have different minimum load requirements. See 705.8.0. .
  • Maximum weight: 2,200 pounds (pallet(s) + pallet box(es) + mail + top cap(s)).

Placards (705.8.6)

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Pallet boxes are placarded according to content and destination of the mail. See individual QSGs.

At least two clearly visible placards must be affixed to two adjacent sides of each pallet box.

Use pink placards for Periodicals and white labels for Standard Mail and Package Services.

Placards must be at least 8 inches x 11 inches; lettering for required information must be at least 1/2 inch high.

Top Caps (705.8.2)

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Top caps are not required on single pallet boxes; they are required on stacked pallet boxes. Top caps must be securely fastened onto the pallet box and pallet.

Strapping and Shrinkwrap (705.8.4)

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Each pallet box must be securely strapped or shrinkwrapped (or both) to its pallet for safe transport (except when the pallet is accepted at the postal facility where the contents are distributed and the weight of the mail in the box will hold the box in place during transport and processing).

Stacking Pallets of Pallet Boxes (705.8.3)

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Pallet boxes may be stacked to a maximum of four high or 84 inches. Individual pallets must be strapped or shrinkwrapped (or both); the entire pallet stack must be securely banded (not shrinkwrapped). There must be enough space between pallets to allow for a forklift.

Measuring a Pallet Box

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Measuring points on a pallet box are included in "Pallet Measurements." See individual QSGs for how to measure mail for specific discounts.

A Pallet Box

This graphic shows a pallet box as described in text.

General (705.8.10)

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Trays are stacked on pallets so that many trays can be moved as a single unit.

Trays must be individually sleeved, strapped, and labeled. See 705.8.3.5 for exception to the strapping requirement.

Any combination of trays ( 1-foot, 2-foot, EMM) can be stacked on the same pallet, as long as the finished pallet is sturdy and meets all height and weight requirements.

Trays may not be combined with other containers (parcels, sacks) on the same pallet.

Dimensions (705.8.5)

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Height:

  • Minimum volume: 36 linear feet of letter trays or 3 full levels of trays (72 linear feet of letter trays or 24 linear feet of flat trays for First-Class Mail). See 705.8.0 for exception to the minimum height.
  • Maximum height, single pallet: 77 inches (pallet + mail + top cap) or 12 layers of MM trays (11 layers of EMM trays).
  • Maximum height, stacked pallets: 84 inches (pallets + mail + top caps).

Weight:

  • Minimum weight: none. Based on number of tray levels.
  • Maximum weight: 2,200 pounds.

Placards (705.8.6)

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Pallets are placarded according to content and destination of the mail.

At least two clearly visible placards must be affixed to two adjacent sides of each pallet.

Use pink placards for Periodicals or white placards for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail and Package Services, except that placards for Periodicals, bearing an Intelligent Mail container barcode and prepared in the optional smaller format under 708.6.6.6 may be white, but must include a pink vertical one-half inch wide identification bar along the left-hand side of the placard.

Placards must be at least 8 inches x 11 inches; lettering for required information must be at least 1/2 inch high.

Placards bearing Intelligent Mail container barcodes, prepared in the 8 inches by 11 inches format under 708.6.6, may be affixed beneath shrinkwrap or plasticwrap (until November 29, 2009). Placards prepared in the format measuring at least 4 X 7 inches, under 708.6.6.6, must be affixed to the outside of any shrinkwrap or plasticwrap. Under either option, mailers must affix placards so as to not obscure any required element of the placards and so that the placards remain secure throughout USPS processing.

Top Caps (705.8.2)

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Top caps are not required except when pallets are stacked. If used, top caps must be shrinkwrapped or banded onto the trays and pallet.

Shrinkwrap (705.8.14.5)

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Shrinkwrap must be used to secure the trays to the pallet and must be securely wrapped around the pallet. Banding alone is not permitted.

Tips on Stacking Trays

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Trays should be counter-stacked where possible to build the sturdiest pallet possible.

It is easy to build a very sturdy locking pallet of all 2-foot trays (see diagram below for recommended method).

All trays on a pallet should be stacked right-side-up with labels facing outward (where possible).

Stacking Pallets of Trays

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Pallets of trays may be stacked to a maximum of four high or 84 inches. Individual pallets must be shrinkwrapped; the entire pallet stack must be securely banded (not shrinkwrapped). There must be enough space between pallets to allow for a forklift.

Trays on a Pallet

This graphic shows how to stack trays on a pallet as described in the text.

Building a Locking Skid

This graphic shows how to build a locking skid.

 

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