All pallets presented to the USPS, whether USPS-provided or mailer-provided, must meet the standards in 705.8.0.
Pallets must be made of high-quality material and must measure 48 by 40 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. Placards must be affixed so as to not obscure any required element of the placards and so that the placards remain secure throughout USPS processing. Placards bearing Intelligent Mail container barcodes must be affixed to the outside of any shrinkwrap or plasticwrap.
Use pink placards for Periodicals or white placards for First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail and Package Services. Periodicals, bearing an Intelligent Mail container barcode and prepared in the optional smaller format under 126.96.36.199d. may be white, but must include a pink vertical one-half inch wide identification bar along the left-hand side of the placard, or may be white when used in conjunction with a pink designator label (see 188.8.131.52e. for conditions).
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 may be prepared in the 8 inches by 11 inches format under 204.3.4 or in the optional smaller placard format under 184.108.40.206.
Top Caps (705.8.2)
Except as provided in 705.8.2, top caps must be used on all stacked pallets. Top caps must be secured to the pallet with either shrinkwrap or at least two straps or bands.
Strapping and Shrinkwrap (705.8.1.3)
Except for pallets of trays, each pallet must be secured with at least two straps or bands, or be wrapped with plastic shrinkwrap, or both. Shrinkwrap must be used to secure the trays to the pallet and must be securely wrapped around the pallet. Banding alone is not permitted.
Stacking Pallets (705.8.3)
Pallets may be stacked to a maximum of six tiers high, but must not exceed 84 inches in height (lower height restrictions may apply). Individual pallets must be strapped or shrinkwrapped (or both). The stack of pallets must be securely banded with at least two straps or bands (not shrinkwrapped). The heaviest pallet must be on the bottom of the stack and 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 below:
Pallet Boxes General (705.8.4)
Mailers may use pallet boxes made of a sturdy corrugated fiberboard meeting the requirements in 705.8.4 that are placed on a pallet to hold sacks or parcels.
Base: The base of a pallet box must measure approximately 40 inches x 48 inches.
Height and Weight: For height and weight see the General section above. The contents may not stick up over the rim of the pallet box.
Strapping and Shrinkwrap (705.8.4)
Each pallet box must be secured with at least two straps or bands, 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).
Measuring a Pallet Box
Measuring points on a pallet box are included under “Measuring a Pallet.”
Trays General (705.8.5)
Trays must be prepared under the standards for the class of mail and price claimed. See 705.8.14.5 for an exception to the tray 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.
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).