Trans-Amigos Express - Mail Bags
Amigos distributed mail bags to each participant during the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. The high-visibility, purple bags are made of durable, water-resistant nylon material with both the Trans-Amigos Express logo and the TExpress logo in opposite, top hand corners. The words “Resource sharing made easy!” are across the bottom.
In the front center of the bag is a 3 3/8” x 5 3/8” horizontal, inside-cut pocket window which will display the shipping label. This page contains instructions, FAQs, and tips to use the bags properly for efficient and safe transit of materials.
- To insert the shipping label, open the bag by unzipping, if necessary, and slide the label through the top of the window pocket with the completed side of the label facing forward so that it appears in the window.
- Label size cannot exceed 5 inches horizontally. Do not apply adhesive labels directly to the bag. If adhesive labels are preferred, please apply to a non-adhesive cardstock or a 3x5 index card before inserting the label. Make sure all shipping information is visible through the window.
- After inserting the label, load the bag with materials to be shipped to the one intended institution. Zip the bag firmly closed.
- (Optional) To use a pull plastic security seal, zip the bag closed. Find a small hole located near the top corner of the bag and thread the stem of the seal through that hole to the hole on the other side of the bag and finally, through the hole in the zipper. Loop the stem through the tiny pit and tighten to lock by pulling. The bag then can only be opened by cutting the security seal. Don’t over-tighten as you want to be able to shove your scissors or a blade underneath the loop to sever it.
- Can we continue to use envelopes and boxes if we run out of bags?
Yes. Continue to use envelopes after you run out of bags. It’s okay to have a mixed shipment because the bags have not had enough time to fully circulate and we anticipate there will not be enough bags for the amount of items shipped through the courier, especially in the early stages of using the bags.
- What happens when the item is too big to fit inside a bag?
Please use an envelope or box sufficient in size for items too large to fit inside a 14x18 bag. The goal is to get the item to the patron or student regardless of which shipping container is used.
- Are there labels and label templates available for use for the new bags?
Yes. Here is a template specifically for use for the new bags. They go to the Avery template 5392 that you can order online from any office supply store of your choice. It’s the 3x4 non-adhesive name badge insert cardstock.
For boxes and envelopes, you can continue to use the template on the web site that for the adhesive 4”x3 1/3” label: http://www.amigos.org/files/label_template.pdf. These are the only labels that are acceptable for use through the courier besides the 2”x4” TExpress (boot logo) labels.
- How do we order more pull plastic security seals to lock the bags?
Amigos will only provide seals initially. The seals are optional to use and your library can order more using the following link to the company from which Amigos ordered. (250 minimal order, catalog# S90052, size 5.5): http://www.arifkin.com/index.php?section=store&subsection=viewitem&idn=71.
- Can we order more bags?
Amigos provides the bags for use by all in the courier system and we are aware that, initially, there won’t be a bag for each item but we have plans to purchase more bags in the future. We also anticipate that the “group purchase” or “pooling” of bags may eventually save money for participating libraries on the cost of shipping materials.
Just use the bags as much as you can and hopefully, the same amount going out may return to you for reuse. The pre-count amount of bags (that depended on an institution’s shipping volume) sent to each institution was necessary to circulate the bags through the system more quickly. The bags do not belong to any one institution. While it certainly is a cost advantage to the library to get the bags from Amigos, if your library wants to order more to add to the pool please contact Amigos. Because the bags are for use by everyone in the courier system, there is no guarantee that the same bags will return to you.
Please do not add additional property marks to the bags.
On the other hand, if you desire to purchase the same type of bags for use within your campus or internal library mail, we can provide information from the vendor we used and who our contact is. Just let us know.
- Can we use the bags to send items through the United States Postal Service?
The bags are intended for exclusive use through the Trans-Amigos Express/TExpress courier. Do not ship the bags through USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc…
- An issue found occurring frequently is the slipping of the label inside the bag consequently leaving the shipping window blank. To prevent this:
Place a small piece of clear scotch tape over the inside top of the label flap to prevent the label from slipping out during shipping. The clear scotch tape won’t damage the bag because it’s not a strong adhesive and it will ensure the label remains in the window.
- To ensure extra protection for more fragile materials transported:
To cushion more fragile materials for transport such as media, you may use a box or a jiffy padded envelope to house the material and place it inside the bag or use bubble wrap to wrap around the item before inserting into the bag. Just make sure the shipping label appears in the window on the bag and not on the box or wrapping that will go inside the bag.
- Regarding the type of labels:
DO NOT USE adhesives anywhere on the bag itself. You can use clear scotch tape on the nylon part but avoid strong adhesives on the bag itself and especially the plastic window. If adhesives are used, the bag must be cleaned before re-use. Please refer to #3 in the Q&A section for a template you can use for non-adhesive labels.