Mailers were very happy to hear one MTAC report, regarding plastic pallets. Mailers have been facing challenges posed by the wooden mail pallets the USPS has been distributing. The wooden pallets can weigh up to 60-70lbs, skewing tare weights and posing safety problems for mail handlers. The USPS announced that they have purchased and are testing a half million new plastic pallets, that are both lighter and less expensive than the older plastic pallets. Real-world testing, including some pallets implanted with GPS devices, is being conducted with these pallets right now.
A new, non-MTAC workgroup has been formed to study long term ideas for MTE (Mailer Transport Equipment) such as pallets. It was explained that participation outside of the usual MTAC participants, such as Fed-Ex, necessitated the non-MTAC status of this cooperative effort.
Mailers can help these efforts and make containerization issues improve for everyone with a few simple culture changes. First and foremost, only use MTEs for the purpose of moving the mail. Re-purposing of postal pallets, hoarding, and other misuse is not only illegal, but it makes things difficult for all mailers in the long run. Support USPS efforts to begin to track and control MTEs, even though it may not be “the way we’ve always done it” Bypassing systems to get equipment via personal connections takes away from the system the USPS is trying to build. Do a MTE Roundup in your plant, and use up existing inventory, and return excess inventory.
The USPS listened to complaints about the wooden pallets, and they are trying to make things better. Let’s work together on this.