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Palletization – When to Take the Plunge

Kim Mauch
Posted by Kim Mauch Sr. Product Manager Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 18:29

Kim Mauch has over a decade of experience absorbing the ins-and-outs of effective mailing preparation and submission processes with a heavy emphasis on new USPS technologies including Intelligent Mail and electronic documentation.

In her current role as postal products specialist for Quadient, Kim educates customers on how to efficiently meet the latest USPS regulations.

She has presented at MailCom, National Postal Forum and numerous educational forums, including full-day channel training sessions, online webinars and high-profile customer training programs.

Customer Experience Update
Palletization – When to Take the Plunge

With the rebounding economy and increasing mail volume, you may see the size of your mailings grow as well. If so, you may wonder if there’s a better way to prepare your mail than in trays and sacks. The good news: USPS does accept mail on pallets, which could make mailing preparation and transport much easier.

When does palletizing mail make sense?

In most cases, palletizing your mail doesn’t qualify the mailing for additional postal discounts. However, there are some other reasons to palletize your mail:

  • Weight requirement
    USPS requires pallets when mailing over 500 pounds to a specific destination. A destination could be a 5-digit area, or a specific NDC (National Distribution Center). However, you can create a pallet for a destination with only 250 pounds of mail.
  • Easier preparation
    When a mailing consists of over 20-25 trays, arranging and storing them on pallets can decrease confusion and make it easier to organize your mailing floor.
  • Easier transportation
    When mailing numerous trays or sacks, pallets can be easier to move from the mailing floor to your transportation vehicle, and eventually to your mail entry plant. This reduces manual lifting and can cut down on the time you spend at mail entry transferring your mail. You may already have the necessary equipment for transporting pallets, including a larger transport vehicle and pallet jacks.
  • Preparation discount for Periodicals
    If you are currently mailing Periodicals in sacks, the charge for a pallet may be less than the sack charges. This can result in some postal discounts if you choose to prepare your flat bundles on pallets instead.

What do I need to prepare pallets?

You will need some additional equipment, along with a few new processes, to prepare your pallets for mail entry. Here’s what you will need:

  • Pallet preparation software
    Many PAVE certified software products (including Satori Software products) have optional pallet modules that will sort your mail in pallets, and provide all the paperwork you need, including Qualification reports and pallet placards.
  • Pallet bases for mailing
    Pallets can be requested from USPS much like other Mail Transport Equipment (MTE) including trays and sacks. You can purchase your own, but they will not be returned to you.
  • Pallet containment supplies
    In order to keep your mail on the pallet, pallet boxes, plastic wrap and pallet box tops are required. These supplies can be ordered online. When securing your pallets with plastic wrap, be sure to completely wrap the pallet around the base three times to ensure the pallet’s integrity.
  • Pallet destination placards
    These labels, usually available from your sorting software, are placed on two adjacent sides of each pallet.
  • Pallet transportation equipment
    Depending on the volume of pallets you will be handling, a single manual pallet jack may not be enough. You may want to look into forklifts or other equipment if you handle many pallets every day.

If you are interested in learning about palletization options, please contact our sales team at 800-553-6477 or for more information.