of your package helps to ensure safe delivery.
Choose a box with enough room
for cushioning material around
the contents. Sturdy paperboard
or corrugated fiberboard boxes
are best for weights up to
10 pounds. If you are reusing a box,
totally remove or obliterate all
previous labels and markings with
heavy black marker.
Where to Find Boxes
You can purchase boxes and
tubes of various sizes at most Post
Offices. Select Priority Mail Express and Priority
Mail boxes are available free at the
Post Office for items sent using
either of these services. While you
are not required to use the free
packaging for these services, you
must use the USPS-produced address label provided
by the Post Office for Priority Mail Express.
To order Priority Mail Express or Priority
Mail boxes at no extra charge,
call 1·800·222·1811 or visit
Place the cushioning all around
your item or items. You can use
newspaper, “foam peanuts,” or
shredded paper. Close and shake
the box to see if you have enough
cushioning. If you hear items
shifting, add more cushioning.
Placing an extra address label
with the delivery and return
addresses inside the package will
ensure that the item can be
delivered in case the outside label
becomes damaged or falls off.
Mailing Fragile Items
Use foamed plastic or padding to
protect your items, placing the
cushioning inside hollow items as
well. Mark the package “Fragile” or
mark “Perishable” on packages that
contain food or other items that can
spoil. Careful packaging is the
best way to safeguard your valuable
items against damage.
Mailing Heavy Items
If you are mailing a very heavy or
very dense item, start with a sturdy
box, pack the contents securely
with a strong material for bracing
to prevent shifting, and tape
all the edges with reinforced tape.
Packages heavier than 70 pounds
cannot be mailed.
Tape the opening of your box and
reinforce all seams with 2-inch-wide
tape. Use clear or brown packaging
tape, reinforced packing tape, or
paper tape. Do not use cord, string,
twine, masking or cellophane tape.
Place a strip of clear packaging
tape over your label to prevent
the address from smearing.
Print or type your address in
the upper left corner on the
same side of the package
as the delivery address.
Place labels for extra services
above the delivery address and
to the right of the return address,
or to the left of the delivery address.
Use stamps, a postage meter, or
a PC Postage system to affix the
correct amount. You can calculate
and purchase postage online
Print or type the delivery address
parallel to the longest side of
the package. Type or print clearly
with a pen or permanent marker so that your address
is legible from an arm’s length
away. Do not use commas
Labels for USPS Tracking or
Signature Confirmation are placed
to the left of the address label.
City, State, and ZIP Code
To find the correct spelling
of a city name and state
abbreviation or to find a ZIP
Code, visit www.usps.com or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. Using
the correct ZIP Code helps
direct your mail more efficiently
If your mail item weighs 13 ounces
or less, and you have affixed correct
postage, you can drop it into a blue
collection box. If your item weighs
more than 13 ounces, and you have
affixed postage stamps, you must
take it to an employee at the retail counter of a Post Office.