USPS Wants Its Property Returned to Sender

WASHINGTON, DC—Nov. 9, 2011—The U.S. Postal Service announced a two-week amnesty period to encourage the rapid return of postal-owned equipment, especially pallets and mail tubs. This announcement comes on the heels of recent equipment recoveries made by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (go here for additional details).

“The Postal Service spent nearly $50 million this past fiscal year to replace equipment that was never returned,” said David Williams, vice president, Network Operations. “This is a serious issue. We are in a financial crisis and simply cannot afford this type of unnecessary expense. The equipment is federal property and we want it back.”

The amnesty period to return mail transport equipment, or MTE, will run from Nov. 12-26, 2011. Anyone possessing Postal Service MTE is strongly encouraged to return it during this time period and no questions will be asked.

During the amnesty period, small amounts of equipment can be dropped off at local Post Offices or nearby mail processing and distribution centers. Arrangements can be made for the Postal Service to pick up large amounts of equipment and/or pallets by sending an email to, and including “Equipment Pickup Request” in the subject line and company name, address where the equipment is located, type of mail transport equipment and quantity, and contact information in the message.

There also is a mail transport equipment recovery hotline (1-866-330-3404) that can be used to report the misuse of equipment, such as hoarding or recycling.

As information, the following message is printed clearly on all U.S. Postal Service equipment:

WARNING: Maximum penalty for theft or misuse of postal property, $1,000 fine and 3 year’s imprisonment (Title 18 USC 1707).” Chapter 58 of the Postal Operations Manual (POM) and Title 18 Section 1707 of the Federal Criminal Code contain the policy and laws regulating use of all mail transport equipment.

About the USPS
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

Source: USPS.