In the past, postal operators were transporting letter mail with their own bags. The IPC Bag Pool was created to streamline operations and save costs by enabling posts to re-use inbound bags for their outbound production and limit the amount of bag repatriation.

How does it work?

The IPC Bag Pool is a shared pool of a standard long-lasting and environmentally friendly mail bags, suited for international priority letter mail. It is used for registered mail, E-format and letter packet mail, each with a maximum weight of 2 kg, allowing for the transport of e-commerce products, thick magazines, posters and mail items that cannot be machine sorted.

IPC centrally manages the IPC Bag Pool using a tool developed in CAPE Vision, called the Bag Management Function (BMF). This application enables IPC to monitor Bag operations and movements daily by means of EDI messages, and to initiate repatriations from net importing members to net exporting members as required, thus ensuring that every member has a sufficient stock of bags at all times. IPC also performs central purchasing of bags and re-supplies.

Every member has appointed one National Bag Coordinator who is in regular contact with IPC Central Control to perform local monitoring, send out local instructions for use, storage and repatriations. The Coordinator will report on monthly inventories to IPC Central Control and ensure that the bag is properly used only on the valid routes agreed between participating posts.


Standardisation in operations

By using one type of bag within the pool, the total number of bags is much smaller due to the fact that bags come and go from one member to another. This eliminates the repatriation of members’ own bags back to their origin. Working staff do not have to worry about separating and storing large numbers of different bags. The IPC Bag is also comfortable to use and easy to store.

Financial savings

Significant savings for Pool members, due to the one-time cost of the IPC Bag Pool. The size and structure also reduces storage space and reparation costs.

Sustainable construction

The IPC Bag itself is fully recyclable, from the material itself to the dyeing and printing ink. IPC has ensured that the Bags are manufactured in compliance with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.

Facts & figures

  • The IPC Bag Pool is currently used by 18 posts around the world.
  • The total IPC Bag Pool stock consists of 110,000 bags, with approximately 1m of bags exchanged a year.
  • The Bag measures 110 x 75 cm, and can hold a maximum weight of 30 kg and has a rope around the rim for tight hanging on the bag racks. The bottom of the bag is made using thicker materials, for protection against wear and tear. It is made of polypropylene, a fully recyclable material. The Bags are also water repellent and anti-static coating, making it convenient and comfortable to use. They have no seams on the bottom or the sides, providing additional security. The wear and tear rate is extremely low.

More information

To find out more about the IPC Bag Pool services contact