Scanners to streamline package delivery

To streamline delivery services and increase efficiency, the U.S. Postal Service will install scanning units at bulk mail centers, eliminating the need to manually position packages in front of a bar code scanner.

Two singulator scan induction units (SSIU) will be installed in each of the Postal Service's 21 bulk mail centers by 2003. Lockheed Martin Federal Systems Inc. was awarded the $73.4 million contract to install the systems.

About 97 percent of USPS packages have bar codes for delivery identification.

A package entering an SSIU will be scanned on all six sides simultaneously. After the package is scanned for bar codes, it enters a dimensioning unit, which measures all six sides to determine transportation and other delivery requirements. The SSIU then sends the parcel and bar code data to an automated sorting machine.

The SSIU is part of the Postal Service's Information Platform, which uses technology to process, transport and provide immediate delivery information to customers. The SSIUs are expected to cut labor costs by more than $24 million annually after the system is fully implemented. The system also is expected to provide Postal Service employees with more accurate information about the destinations and the quantities of packages. This information will enable managers to appropriately staff facilities to ensure packages are delivered promptly.

Details about the SSIUs and a list of the bulk mail centers that will receive them is available at the USPS World Wide Web site

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