You’ll need supplies to sort and prepare your mail. You can pick up most of these supplies during normal business hours at the business mail entry unit (BMEU)—the place at a Post Office where mailers drop off business mail. A BMEU clerk will help you find exactly what you need.
The Postal Service supplies the following items at no charge for your use in preparing your mailing:
For letters: The Postal Service has 1-foot and 2-foot trays. If this is the first time you've mailed, take a few of each and be sure to always return the extras. The next time you do a mailing you’ll have a better idea of the number of trays you need.
For "tall" letters: The Postal Service has special trays called "EMM" trays that are deeper than the regular 1-foot and 2-foot trays. EMM trays come in 2-foot lengths.
For flats: First-Class Mail flats get sorted into deep tubs called flat trays. Standard Mail flats get sorted into white or clear sacks.
4. Container labels. Every container of mail (tray or sack) MUST have a label. The label tells the Postal Service the destination of the mail in that tray or sack. Ask the business mail entry unit clerk to help you find the right labels. For your future mailings you’ll have a better idea of what labels you use on a regular basis.
5. Labeling Lists. These lists contain destination ZIP Codes with corresponding postal facility destination information. Mailers use labeling lists to properly label bundles, trays, sacks, and pallets of mail to the correct presort destinations. Mailers will use different lists for different types of mail. All the labeling lists are available on the Postal Explorer website.
6. Quick Service Guides (QSGs). These two-page guides use words and pictures to show you how to sort mail for any class of mail or any presort level. The Quick Service Guides are available online and in hard copy from your local business mail entry unit. See Quick Service Guides Table of Contents.
7. Postage statement. Mailers use postage statements to record the number of pieces in a mailing and calculate the applicable postage. Hardcopy postage statements are available on the Postal Explorer website by choosing “Postage Statements” in the left frame. They are also available at local business mail entry units.
You will also need strapping material. Trays of mail must be secured with a single strap around the length of the sleeved tray. Most large office supply stores carry strapping material.
Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to sort your mail.