Postal Regulations/Specifications on Rubber Bands/Bundling

This page provides internet reference links for Government Rules, Regulations, Standards and Specifications related to Postal Rubber Bands. The object of providing these links is to assist our customers (who are generally private mail handlers or businesses who deal with the Post Office) to better understand Postal regulatory requirements related to rubber bands so they can be in compliance with these measures.

This detail is voluminous and you may not be interested in reading. So prior to your review let us explain in simple English the general issues which will likely be applicable to you.

If you are an independent Mail Handler/Business who ships via USPS then much of what is referenced does not apply to you. For example the links to bundled parcels include significant detail for other forms of strapping, while rubber bands themselves receive minimal mention.

Our take on these rules and regulations is the key criteria for mail handler/ business shippers to consider is that USPS is permitted to reject any bundled parcels which it deems may cause harm to its Postal employees. Basically, this means any rubber band bundled parcel it accepts must both securely hold its items firmly together and not break during their processing at the Post Office.

While the Post Office does not set quality standards for the rubber bands used by its private customers such standards do exist on its own purchased bands. Therefore the inference is that if one uses the same or a similar quality rubber bands as the USPS purchases they will be in compliance to meeting the USPS standard for Bundling which prevents potential harm to Postal Employees.

Our Guarantee: All three Rubber Bands grades sold through this Website meet or exceed all Postal requirements as referenced in Federal Circular
A-A 131B – Rubber Band Procurement Manual.

While private shippers are free to use any rubber band for bundling purposes which safely secure their parcels, in practice, the same 4 rubber band sizes used by USPS are generally used by the vast majority of it’s postal customers. These sizes are:

• PSN 7510-01-368-3495 — Number 64 Rubber Bands, 3 1/2″ x ¼”
• PSN 7510-08-000-1682 — Big Red Rubber Bands 7″ x ¼”
• PSN 7510-00-243-3437 — Number 18 Rubber Bands 3″ x 1/16″
• PSN 7510-00-243-3434 — Number 32 Rubber Bands 3″ x 1/8″

Because USPS is the World’s largest consumer of Rubber Bands, their use has for the past Century defined the market for Rubber Bands. USPS purchases so many #64, #32 and #16 rubber bands, these sizes comprise well over 75% of the volume of all stationary bands sold. Therefore, while other size bands may work better for your particular applications, the lower cost of these standard sizes generally make using them the better choice on a cost effective basis.

Of the four items noted above, size #64 (3-1/2” x 1/4”) remains the standard for most postal use and represent over 90% what the USPS consumes. Prior to it’s budget problems, USPS used to provide rubber bands to its mail handlers free of charge. Since those bands provided were Size #64, that size band became the standard used for most bundling application.

We are privileged to offer our Postal Band products in three grades/price ranges.

  • Economy Grade Bands imported from Thailand which meets all USPS Postal contract requirements and are the best value on a per piece cost.
  • A Premium Grade product made with 90% rubber content the best product currently available on the rubber band market. While priced above the other two options, their cost per piece is only marginally more on a per piece basis. This is because higher grade bands have greater piece counts/lb. So if breakage has been an issue to you or your bundling needs require stronger bands these Premium bands may be your best choice.

Rubber bands can fail and/or break for any number of reasons. To learn more on this subject and help to determine the best rubber band to use for your application we suggest you call in to discuss your particular application need with one of our knowledgeable staff. Note: We will provide free samples to help you determine the exact best rubber band for your bundling need. In addition to over 60 size bands we stock, we can custom make, within reason, any size band you may need.

Links to Rubber Band Rules, Regulations, Standards and Specifications

The following shows reference links on the USPS home page related to an inquiry for “Rubber Bands” You can click on each reference shown to research Postal Rules related to the various categories noted as they relate to rubber band use.

DMM 601 Mailability
General standards; packaging and cushioning; content and extra service markings; special mailing containers; nonmailable and restricted articles and substances; perishables; hazardous materials; cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; other restricted or nonmailable matter; and written, printed, and graphic matter.

DMM 475 Media Mail Preparation for Discount Parcels
General information; preparation for bundles, sacks, and sack labels; and preparation for Media Mail and Library Mail parcels.

DMM 707 Periodicals
Pricing and fees, physical characteristics and content eligibility, authorization, qualification categories, record keeping, preferred Periodicals, eligibility standards, Ride-Along pricing, postage payment methods, documentation standards, mail preparation, deposit, destination entry eligibility, and additional entry.

DMM 507 Mailer Services
Treatment of mail, forwarding, Premium Forward service, address correction services, recall of mail, pickup service, mailing list services, address sequencing services, Business Reply Mail (BRM), permit reply mail, merchandise return service, bulk parcel return service, and parcel return service.