From the days when mail was packed in canisters and shot between post offices through pneumatic tubes to today’s ultra-fast, efficient door delivery system, mail shipping has come a long way. USPS mail totes replaced rudimentary mail canisters and burlap bags with sturdy, waterproof containers that could withstand the elements and protect customers’ mail. Read on to see why you should consider investing in USPS-style totes to streamline your logistics needs.

History of the United States Postal Service (USPS)

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a long and storied history that dates back to 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General. Since then, the USPS has grown and changed with America, embracing new technologies to serve a growing population. In recent years, USPS has increasingly looked towards modernizing its operations to meet changing customer needs. They have partnered with Flexcon Corporation, an industry-leading corrugated plastic mail totes manufacturer, to provide mail totes for the USPS’s Automated Package Processing System. Flexcon’s USPS-style mail tote solutions enable businesses, operations, and organizations to streamline their shipping, storage, and material handling operations. As a result of USPS’s strong relationship with Flexcon, more and more businesses are considering using mail totes. Orders have increased so much that Flexcon has created a second website to showcase its solutions. The totes are designed to be lightweight and durable and are made from recycled materials. This partnership has allowed USPS to increase efficiency and reduce shipping and storage costs.

What Are Mail Tote Solutions?

The USPS mail tote is a durable plastic container used to transport and sort mail throughout the postal system. Flexcon offers a versatile range of tote solutions for businesses and individuals looking to streamline their shipping needs. Initially, USPS postal totes were white corrugated plastic containers measuring 18″ L x 14″ W x 12″ D. Since then, these solutions have become much more diverse, providing a diverse product line for companies to choose from. The standard product range now includes different sizes, colors, and features, such as locking devices and handles.

At its core, the USPS mail tote solution is designed to provide an efficient way to move products and materials. This can be done in various ways depending on the size of the container. For example, totes can be stacked, transported with the help of a pallet jack, or used in an automated conveyor system. This ability for businesses to have a more granular level of control over what sized tote they use for their own products allows them to save money in the long term since less space is wasted. It is important to note that the USPS mail tote can also be used for purposes other than just shipping and storage. Businesses can also use postal totes to organize inventory in their warehouses, provide secure document storage, carry promotional products, and even transport hazardous materials.

How You Save Money

The biggest benefit of using corrugated plastic mail totes is that they can help businesses save money in the long run due to their:

  • Higher durability: They can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. Unlike cardboard mail totes that become damaged or worn down quickly, corrugated plastic totes can last for years with proper care.
  • Reusability: Corrugated plastic mail totes are used many times for shipping or transporting goods. This eliminates the need to constantly purchase new totes, which can increase costs over time.
  • Ease of cleaning: These plastic totes are washable, making them easy to clean and maintain. This reduces the risk of contamination or the spread of germs, which is especially important in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lifecycle of The USPS Mail Tote

The lifecycle of a mail tote typically begins when it is manufactured by a third-party vendor (Flexcon) to USPS specifications. The totes are then purchased by USPS and distributed to postal facilities nationwide. The totes come in various sizes, from small to large, to accommodate different mail volumes and packages. Some are made to fit standard letter-size envelopes, while others are designed for larger packages. They are typically made from durable plastic materials designed to withstand heavy use and repeated handling, ensuring they last longer.

USPS-style totes are available in multiple colors to enable users to differentiate between various types of mail or operational purpose. They are labeled using identification numbers or barcodes to refine sorting and handling. Postal workers can track their movement through the system accurately, ensuring that mail and packages are delivered to the correct location. Once in use, mail carriers and postal workers load the totes with letters, packages, and other mail items for delivery. The totes are transported to their destination facilities via mail trucks, trains, and planes.

The totes are unloaded and sorted at the destination facilities according to their final delivery location. Mail inside the totes is then distributed to individual carriers for delivery to homes and businesses. Over time, mail totes may become damaged or worn out from regular use. When this happens, USPS repairs or replaces the totes as needed. Those beyond repair are recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

The Sustainability of Corrugated Plastics

Corrugated plastics are a sustainable option for businesses and individuals who need durable and reusable packaging solutions. These plastics are made from various materials, including polypropylene and high-density polyethylene, which can be recycled after use. It’s essential to take proper care of corrugated plastic to ensure sustainability. This means storing them in a dry, cool location when not in use to prevent damage and keep them clean. Corrugated plastics can be washed with soap and water or cleaned with disinfectants to maintain their integrity and facility hygiene. Recycling is the best option when it’s time to dispose of corrugated plastics. Corrugated plastics are recyclable and can be processed into new products, such as outdoor furniture, roofing, and flooring. Recycling corrugated plastics reduces landfill waste and conserves natural resources, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Why Shipping Has Been Ignored in the Past

Several factors contribute to the increase in shipping rates. One major factor is fuel costs. As oil and gas prices continue to rise, carriers are forced to charge higher shipping rates to cover their costs. Shipping rates are also influenced by the number of carriers operating in the market. When fewer carriers are available to transport goods, the demand for services increases, leading to a price surge. Resource gaps can also increase the costs incurred by shipping companies. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, brought with it significant disruptions to supply chains. This caused shortages of specific resources, such as shipping containers and trucks. As a result, carriers have to pay more for these resources, and costs are passed on to the consumer through higher shipping rates. The surge in e-commerce has also led to an increased demand for shipping services. This puts pressure on carriers to invest in more resources and infrastructure. These investments are expensive, and carriers must charge higher rates to cover those expenses. While this trend may be frustrating for consumers and businesses, carriers must maintain profitability and continue to provide reliable shipping services.

In Summary

USPS mail totes are a popular and reliable solution for transporting mail and packages across various industries. They are used by mail carriers, mail rooms, educators, medical and healthcare facilities, and food service operations due to their durability and practicality. Made of high-quality materials that can withstand repeated use and exposure to the elements, mail totes come in multiple sizes, colors, and designs to suit different needs and preferences.

By investing in USPS mail totes, businesses can streamline their shipping processes, reduce the need for disposable packaging, and save money over time. These totes are a sustainable and practical option for anyone looking to transport documents and packages efficiently and securely. If you want to learn more about USPS mail totes and other shipping solutions, follow us on Instagram for the latest updates, tips, and insights into the world of shipping and logistics.


1. Do you provide product samples?

Yes! You can request and evaluate a product sample before placing a bulk order.

2. How much weight can USPS mail totes carry?

It all depends on your needs. Just let us know the capacity you need.