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Quick Service Guide 705a
Pallets, Pallet Boxes, and Trays on Pallets
Pallets are plastic or wooden platforms upon which mail (trays, sacks, bundles, or parcels) is stacked.
Pallets measure approximately 40 inches x 48 inches.
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. Optionally, mailers may use an all white pallet placard for Periodicals (with Intelligent Mail container placards only), when used in conjunction with a pink designator label (see 708.6.6.5e for conditions).
Generally, placards must be at least 8 inches x 11 inches; lettering for required information must be at least 1/2 inch high. However, placards bearing Intelligent Mail container barcodes may be prepared in the 8 inches by 11 inches format under 708.6.4 or in the optional format measuring at least 4 X 7 inches, under 708.6.4.6. Placards bearing Intelligent Mail container barcodes 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)
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)
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)
Pallets may be stacked to a maximum of six 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
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 Boxes General (705.8.4)
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.
The contents may not stick up over the rim of the pallet box.
Top Caps (705.8.2)
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)
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)
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
Measuring points on a pallet box are included in “Pallet Measurements.” See individual QSGs for how to measure mail for specific discounts.
Trays General (705.8.10)
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.
Trays Shrinkwrap (705.8.14.5)
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
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
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.