USPS asks the postal community for input on how to deal with overweight parcels

October 4, 2017

POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 111 Overweight Parcels AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Request for comments. SUMMARY: The Postal Service is contemplating amendment of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®), to address the challenges presented by overweight parcels that make their way into the postal network.

To aid us in this effort, we are requesting comments from the postal community regarding a variety of suggested actions to resolve or ameliorate this problem. Overweight parcels for the purpose of this notice are defined as anything in excess of 70 pounds or the maximum weight allowed for HAZMAT.

DATES: Submit comments on or before November 2, 2017. ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Product Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260–5015.

If sending comments by email, include the name and address of the commenter and send to, with a subject line of ‘‘Overweight Parcels.’’ Faxed comments are not accepted. You may inspect and photocopy all written comments, by appointment only, at USPS® Headquarters Library, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., 11th Floor North, Washington, DC 20260. These records are available for review on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., by calling 202–268–2906.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Direct questions or comments to Lizbeth J. Dobbins by email at lizbeth.j.dobbins@ or phone (202) 268–3789.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Challenge of Overweight Parcels Overweight parcels should never be accepted for delivery into the postal network.

On occasion an item, such as a returns parcel, gets into the Postal network and arrives at a destination plant or post office. It is unsafe to return the item back through the postal network so the receiving office contacts the customer and asks the customer to pick up the package.

Sometimes the package is abandoned which creates another safety issue trying to dispose of the overweight item.

Part of the challenge is that we do not want overweight items at any time since these items cause numerous safety issues and we strongly discourage mailers from entering them into the postal system.

We do not accept them at postal retail counters either and yet, these items still get into the postal system. In order to discourage unsafe practices, the Postal Service is seeking input from the mailing community about how to prevent overweight packages from entering the postal system, and if they get into the postal system, the appropriate postage to be paid.

The maximum weight for postage payment is 70 pounds.

Suggested Remedies

One partial remedy would be to assess additional postage on overweight parcels discovered in the postal network. Thus, if a package weight is 75 pounds, and it arrives at the destination office, with postage calculated at 70 pounds, an additional 5 pounds worth of postage could be collected (70 plus 5). Or if the item is 80 pounds, postage would be collected on the additional 10 pounds. This would appear to provide the Postal Service with at least some degree of reimbursement for the extra service provided.

As a further deterrent, another possibility would be to charge not only additional postage, but an additional penalty fee (perhaps $20.00). Thus, for an 80 pound parcel the total amount due would include the postage payment for 70 pounds, a postage surcharge for the additional 10 pounds and a $20 penalty.

Since HAZMAT parcels have lower maximum weight limits, and overweight HAZMAT parcels may pose additional safety challenges, it would seem appropriate to provide an additional element of deterrence with regard to the mailing of such items. Thus, for example, if a 65-pound HAZMAT package exceeded the maximum weight limit of 25 pounds, the amount due might include not only the postage on the actual weight of the package, but an additional surcharge of $20.00 for each 10 pounds (or fraction thereof) in excess of the applicable weight limit.

We look forward to feedback on this important safety issue.

Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance. [FR Doc. 2017–21150 Filed 10–2–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P


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Ruth Ann Kriner Alsup

Suck it up buttercup. Wise words when I asked the question.

Janice Addison Good


Charity Spears McFadden

Well for starters you can tell your good buddy Amazon to start using more than one piece of tape on each side of the box!!! Then you can supply ALL carriers with a dolly instead of us having to purchase our own. If it says “team lift” send a team out. And when I mean team, I mean 2 people, not a woman/man with multiple personalities!

Mar Shu

I agree! Every month I get 3boxes of 35lbs (each) dog foods and tape is already undone and more rearranging in the LLV will cause more difficulties in unloading to the front door. I have to keep reminding myself to re-tape and double tape again ughhhhh!


Are you aware that if an Amazon package says team lift on it that you can call the customer to have them pick it up?

Wendi DelValle

A dolly would be a good start….and I mean provided by the post office. Not out of our own pocket like most the other supplies we use

Estella Getty

We had our manager order one for every route


Our office was given 2 for 16 routes.

Wendi DelValle

I bought a little one for my route. But I’d like a nice, sturdy one. I’ll keep on asking til they give us one but I ain’t gonna hold my breath lol

Deborah Chopiak Leal

Our management bought several rinky-dink puny ones. I bought my own.

Wendi DelValle

Hell, I’m surprised they bought y’all any. This is the cheapest company I know of. They hardly buy anything we need to do our jobs efficiently

Cynthia Seate

I don’t have the room for a dolly…once my packages are loaded…there’s no room left & this is most days.


Me too !

Wendi DelValle

That’s how my old route was. But some of those big dollys do come apart so they’d be easier to put in there

Carol Rohrer

we were given some – #feelinglucky


I can’t get all the packages and box holders in my pov much less a hand truck or dolly. Just saying ?

Nathan W. Collins

Charge more so we at least get paid for it properly.

Michael Puskas

You think they will pay us more that’s just silly

Nathan W. Collins

I think we should get realistic credit for how much time parcels actually take to deliver yes.

Julie Platt

Yes, when you have to dismount at every house, it really adds up.

Ralph Seher

Well, maybe the time study will correct that.


Probably why it’s taking so long to complete.

Robert Fulbright

How about paying us to deliver the extra parcels for a start.

Andrea Collins Hollingsworth

Return to Sender!!!!

Tracee Bradley

Send a truck out with 2 people to deliver the heavy parcels for the entire office. Raise cost on those items to help.


I agree . They should create a route that only delivers the big packages .

Kristy-Steven Harris

First let’s work on getting paid and a dolly won’t help me bc I have no room for it to ride due
To the insanely amount of parcels..

Jeff Myer
Kaywin Bennett

How about having ups deliver their own parcels for
Once! That is a start

Robyne Tavares

I agree with that..

Kaywin Bennett

Robyne Tavares I just had to count. And trust me they did during they whole 12 day count. Of course they aren’t now…..

Robyne Tavares

I sometimes get more UPS than Amazon and I do not take team lift out I had that argument with management I told him there was I in team..

Kaywin Bennett

They drop every morning at our office by 9:30 am. Stopped two
Days before count!!! When the ups guy went to my regular
Customers door I
Went up
After him. Out of the five he delivered, 4 had usps scan labels on them!!! I took pictures and sent it to the union. That is a conspiracy right there!!!! I had 56 packages that day. Today I was back at 110 and it was a light day!

Veronica Lahar-Mann

I Totally agree !

Cynthia Barber

Uh…go to the STORE and buy your damned dog food!?

Sonya Snyder

Some special and vet foods aren’t sold in stores. Ex. Evolve isn’t.

Cynthia Barber

I know. It just pisses me off. That and some guy ordered a 900 pound bag of fertilizer the other week too. Geez!!

Peggy Pfeifer Yerger

I have a dog kennel on my route and they ask for donations on their Facebook page. I delivered 39 huge boxes of dog food one day!


That should be a UPS delivery not a mail delivery ! ?

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