An essential requirement for proper packaging is
an acceptable container. Acceptable containers
include corrugated or solid fiberboard, chipboard (for
small items), metal cans, tubes or boxes, wooden boxes
or crates, fiber mailing tubes with metal ends, and
envelopes. The criteria for acceptability depends on
the containers ability (strength) to retain and protect
contents during normal mail handling. Although the
responsibility for proper packaging of an article rests
with the customer, the clerk must be the judge of its
acceptability. Be sure you understand how to check an
article for proper packaging and wrapping.
Paperboard boxes, similar to suit boxes, are
acceptable for easy and average loads up to l0 pounds.
Metal-stayed paperboard boxes are acceptable for easy
and average loads up to 20 pounds. Solid and
corrugated fiberboard boxes are acceptable for easy
and average loads up to the weight limits shown in
As you can see, an average load weighing up to 20
pounds requires a fiberboard box with a test burst
strength of l25 pounds. For a difficult load a fiberboard
box with test burst strength of l75 pounds is required
for a 20-pound load. Normally, the test burst strength
of a fiberboard box is indicated on the box somewhere
in the area as shown in figure 3-2.
Package surfaces that will not retain an adhesive
stamp, postage meter impression, or ballpoint pen or
pencil marking are not acceptable. Address labels, and
particularly envelopes, should be firmly sealed to
containers. Mailings with labels and envelopes that do
not meet this requirement may be rejected if they cause
problems in processing.
Weight of Box and Content (pounds)
Length and Girth
Easy or Average Load
Table 3-1.Fiberboard box test strengths used in selecting a container for mailing.
SIDES AND TOP
Figure 3-1.Cushioning fragile items for mailing.