How we achieved "Success on the Surfaces"

The United States Postal Service proposed a unique challenge. With an extensive knowledge of label design, production and manufacturing, TSG was up for the task and helped USPS craft a universal solution for their Surface Visability Program.

Our case study breakdown below follows our process of development, testing and how our solution has been implemented across the country! Click here to get access to the downloadable PDF version.


The USPS wanted to start a program tracking transported mail within the postal network of distribution centers. They needed bar code labels on rolling mail containers, dock doors of each USPS facility and the trailer fleet of transportation vehicles. Each bar code label needed to be protected for heavy use, extreme weather conditions and applied to various substrates along with “long term use” requirements. Guaranteed scanning without duplication was required for each printed bar code.

Strategy & Execution:

Working closely with our key suppliers we looked to identify a material that could withstand the extreme requirements presented by the USPS. After testing various products it was determined that a best fit solution was use of a 2 MIL polyester face stock with custom adhesive. This adhesive would need to adhere to substrates including cement, metal, wood and plastic while performing in both sub-zero temperatures and 100+ degree high humidity climates. To protect the bar code on each label for heavy use we determined that a 5 MIL UV laminate would meet those demands. A bar code verifier was incorporated in the manufacturing process to scan each label as it was imaged to ensure readability and duplication errors.


The USPS required extensive testing samples of each bar code label. These labels were added to the live mail stream for weeks of testing in different climates across the United States. All testing was approved without any adjustments in material or adhesive and performed to all the requirements set forth by the USPS. TSG was awarded the contract and is the current supplier for the (SVP) Surface Visibility Program bar code labels.