Items sent by mail never all come in exact shapes and sizes. Luckily, the United States Postal Service offers different and relative packaging for all items. If you are considering using mailing tubes, do you know how to use them? We've researched, and found great answers to this question.
Using mailing tubes is straightforward. You need to check the following three points to comprehend how mailing tubes are shipped.
- Pick the right size mailing tube
- Find out the shipping details
- Know the postage rates countrywide
In the United States, there are nine shipping zones. Continue reading to know where to acquire mailing tubes and what you can ship in them.
Shipping Mailing Tubes
There are items that have such strange shapes that mailing tubes are the only option. However, it does mean you cannot use mailing tubes for other ordinary items too!
You need to follow the procedure to ensure your parcel gets to its destination safely. Here's what you should do:
1. Choose A Mailing Tube
Mailing tubes are available for free from the online USPS store. You could purchase a custom-made mailing, but it must fit the requirements.
Start by measuring the item you intend to ship before purchasing or ordering any mailing tube. Ensure that you also calculate the item's dimensions with some wrapping (where necessary) to get the exact measurements.
Next, weigh the item with any shipment wrapping to get the exact weight. If you have the mailing tube, weigh the item with the mailing tube. Always round off the figure to the higher side.
2. Details Of Shipment
Now, you can put the package details on the shipping software. Indicate the mailing tube's height, width, length, and weight. The mailing tubes fall under Box or rigid packaging.
The USPS offers two shipping options for mailing tubes: Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express. However, you can still send smaller mailing tubes via regular mail service or First Class Mail service.
3. Postage Rates
Like any other parcels, mailing tubes will need postage. Once you have chosen the correct corresponding mail class, buy the postage.
There are size limits restricted to First Class Package. Longer items will need to be shipped using Priority Mail even when they weigh less than 16 ounces.
Cost Of Shipping Mailing Tubes
Packages in tubes have no flat rate for shipping. Even though the mailing tubes can be obtained for free on the USPS website, shipping costs calibrate from $5.05 to $144.82. The maximum weight for mailing tubes doesn't exceed 70 lbs.
The cost depends on the shipping zone and the weight of the mailing tube. If your mailing tube weighs more than 16 ounces, it cannot be shipped using First Class Mail.
How To Purchase Mailing Tubes On USPS
You do not have to pay for the mailing tubes when you order them via USPS. They are a free packaging option.
To order mailing tubes, go to the store on the USPS website. Click on 'Free Shipping Supplies' then tick 'Boxes' in the 'Product Type' section.
You will see several products. Scroll until you find 'Dual-Use Mail Express Medium Tube'. Click on the item and add it to the cart. They will be shipped to you at no cost. The link will give you quick access.
How To Measure A Mailing Tube
Parcels are classified using weight and size. The USPS tubes come in small sizes approximately 25"x 6"x 6"x 6" and medium approximately 38"x 6"x 5"x 5".
You could have larger or smaller mailing tubes than the ones offered by the USPS.
You will have to measure the dimensions of the tube to get the correct postage. Measure the width, depth, and length of the mailing tube. Remember, the width is the same as the depth in mailing tubes.
Here's a visual for clarity.
What Can You Ship Using A Mailing Tube
With creativity at its peak, you can ship different items using mailing tubes. Moreover, mailing tubes are tough and can be sealed properly. Therefore, items such as:
- Posters-Ship the latest posters of your idol(s) in a mailing tube. You can easily fit many without creasing or crumpling them.
- Engineering plans- Blueprints are always in rolls, and tubes are the ideal options for shipping them.
- Apparatus-Fishing rods, test tubes, golf clubs, and baseball bats are awkwardly shaped yet expensive accessories that need to be shipped with care. They can fit perfectly in mailing tubes because they won't be bent or broken.
- Food items- Mailing tubes are ecologically safe packaging. It's no surprise they are used to ship food items such as teas, herbs, wines, cookies, etc.
- Paintings- Artwork can be rolled and shipped in tubes without getting ripped or torn.
- Paper documents and medical images- Any document needs to be handled with care always.
- Cosmetics- Makeup fits perfectly in mailing tubes because of irregularly shaped and fragile tubes.
- Others- Rugs and bamboo table mats are other items that can be shipped in mailing tubes.
You can be assured that with a mailing tube, any breakable items will arrive at their destination in one piece and not several pieces.
What Are Mailing Tubes Made Of
Mailing tubes are made of wood pulp fiber or kraft paper. The pulp fiber or paper is held together cylindrically with strong adhesive to keep them from collapsing or caving in.
Sometimes cylindrical mailing tubes are denser and thicker due to the multiple layers. The tubes are coated with extra protection on the inside for more sensitive objects. Some mailing tubes could be open on one or both ends.
Alternatively, other mailing tubes could be plastic. Some companies manufacture plastic mailing tubes in several colors, sizes, and thicknesses.
Interestingly, they also manufacture transparent tubes for presents, gifts, or other creative ideas. Any mailing tube is manufactured to fit the USPS mailing requirements.
Other Types Of Mailing Tubes
Packaging can be in several geometrical shapes. Mailing tubes have taken advantage of other shapes too! The first shape that comes to mind when you hear the word tube is round. Alas! That's not the only shape you can get for mailing tubes.
Although round mailing tubes are the most common, you also find triangular and rigid square tubes. Triangular mailing tubes are the best for shipping because they are easily stackable.
However, sealing triangular tubes is a bit complicated. On the other hand, square tubes don't need covers like cylindrical tubes. They instead use flaps with adhesive tapes that reduce the weight of the tube in general.
Can You Make A Mailing Tube?
Yes, you can! Craft lovers can make mailing tubes at home. You will need a cardboard box or kraft paper, a utility knife, glue or adhesive tape, a PVC pipe (for cylindrical tubes), and a few minutes of your time.
Cut the mailing tube to fit the required postal measurements and the item you intend on shipping. Custom-made mailing tubes could have a company logo or personalized message.
If you don't have the time to make mailing tubes, you could order and customize them as desired online. Mailing tubes are a way of advertising and growing your business.
Have a look at this short tutorial on how to make a mailing tube.
Your mystery package can be more mysterious when you send it via mailing tube. The procedure isn't intimidating to first first-time users. The icing on the cake is the free packaging offered by USPS.
Mailing tubes are dust-free, eco-friendly, and can be recycled. Customize any mailing tubes for your business or use them as signature gifts to family and friends.
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