Quick Service Guide 401
April 17, 2011
For parcels, length is the measurement of the longest dimension and girth is the distance around the thickest part (perpendicular to the length).
Except for Parcel Post and Parcel Select, no mailpiece may measure more than 108 inches in length and girth combined. Parcel Post and Parcel Select pieces measuring over 108 inches but not more than
Machinable Parcels (401.1.5)
If you prepare your parcels so that they can be processed on Postal Service equipment, your mail is “machinable.” Machinable parcels must meet specific standards for size, shape, content, and weight.
Maximum weight: 35 pounds (25 pounds for books and other printed matter). Lower weight limits apply to First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Bound Printed Matter.
Irregular parcels include parcels that do not meet the dimensional criteria of machinable parcels and other parcels that cannot be processed by parcel sorters, including:
Outside parcels exceed any of the maximum dimensions for machinable parcels. This category also includes certain high-density items, cartons containing more than 24 ounces of liquids in one or more glass containers, cartons containing 1 gallon or more of liquid in metal or plastic containers, and items in 401.1.7.
First-Class Mail Parcels (401.2.3)
Unless prepared in 5-digit/scheme containers or paid at a single-piece price, presorted parcels are subject to a surcharge if any of the following apply:
Bound Printed Matter (401.2.6)
Barcode discount: Machinable presorted parcels may be eligible for a $0.03 barcode discount per parcel (50-piece minimum), except for parcels mailed at presorted DDU or DSCF prices.
For prices, eligibility, postage payment, and mail preparation, see Quick Service Guide 480.
Standard Mail Parcels (401.2.4)
Unless prepared in carrier route (irregular parcels only) or 5-digit/scheme containers, Standard Mail parcels are subject to a surcharge if machinable parcels do not bear a GS1-128 routing barcode or irregular parcels do not bear a GS1-128 routing barcode, an Intelligent Mail package barcode, or POSTNET barcode.
Standard Mail Not Flat-Machinable Pieces (401.2.4)
Parcel Select Destination Entry packages are priced as machinable or nonmachinable. Nonmachinable parcels are subject to the applicable nonmachinable surcharge unless the special handling fee is paid. There is no Parcel Select nonmachinable surcharge for NDC Presort, ONDC Presort, or barcoded nonpresorted.
Oversized Price: pieces measuring more than 108 inches in combined length and girth, but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth, are mailable at the applicable Parcel Select oversized price. Oversized pieces are not subject to nonmachinable prices.
Balloon Price: Parcel Select pieces measuring more than 84 inches in combined length and girth, but not more than 108 inches in combined length and girth, and weighing less than 20 pounds are mailable at the price equal to that of a 20-pound parcel for the zone to which the parcel is addressed.
Nonmachinable Parcel Select Destination Entry: Except for pieces mailed at oversized prices or parcels sent with special handling, pieces that meet any of the following criteria must pay nonmachinable prices.
c. A parcel that weighs less than 6 ounces (except under 401.1.5.2) or more than 35 pounds.
d. A parcel containing more than 24 ounces of liquid in glass containers, or 1 gallon or more of liquid in metal or plastic containers.
h. A high-density parcel weighing more than 15 pounds and exerting more than 60 pounds per-square-foot pressure on its smallest side.
i. A film case weighing more than 5 pounds or with strap-type closures, except any film case the USPS authorizes to be entered as a machinable parcel under 401.1.5 and to be identified by the words “Machinable in United States Postal Service Equipment” permanently attached as a nontransferable decal in the lower right corner of the case.
j. Parcels with characteristics (such as inadequate packaging) that could result in damage to the contents of the mailpiece, other parcels, or postal machinery if mechanical sortation is used.