USPS seeks customer input

Postal Service Corporate Flat Strategy

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The Postal Service wants customer input on plans to automate the delivery of magazines, catalogs and other flat mail.

Customers can review the Postal Services' Corporate Flat Strategy initiatives on their Web site and comment using the e-mail address FlatStrategyFeedback@usps.gov. The e-mail address, launched last month, routes the comments to the headquarters for review.

The flat strategy outlines plans to reduce manual handling of flat mail. Unlike letter sorting, there is currently no single machine for sorting flat mail, which can range in size and shape, postal officials said. Flat mail makes up about 25 percent of total mail volume.

Postal officials are researching ways to increase the amount of flat mail that is bar-coded and implement technologies to read barcodes, track packages and automate the sorting process. Eventually, officials hope to sort letters and flat mail through one stream that is then packaged together for delivery. This larger goal, known as "delivery point" packaging, should be achieved by 2007, officials said.

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