Systems at work

Systems

At Work

The daily operations performed by the Postal Service depend on an astonishing network of people and technologies that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.

* | Tags: Innovation USPS Fact #396 | March 7, 2022

Innovative Technologies — Systems at Work

The daily operations performed by the Postal Service depend on an astonishing network of people and technologies that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.

  • The Postal Service operates hundreds of mail processing and distribution centers / plants across the country. The employees in these facilities accept, sort and dispatch the nations mail.
  • To move mail using surface transportation, the Postal Service drove more than 2.07 billion miles in 2021 — more than 45,000 trips in more than 25,000 box trucks and tractor-trailers daily.
  • To move mail through the air, the Postal Service flies 5 million pounds of mail per day, using more than 140 domestic airports.
  • The Music City Annex in Nashville, TN, built in 2019, is the newest mail processing facility.
  • The Los Angeles CA Processing and Distribution center is the largest processing facility at 725 million square feet.
  • The Postal Service deployed four electric yard tractors at the Richmond, CA, processing center in 2019. These tractors are used to move trailers around postal property.
  • The Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition (OCR) technology, with machines reading nearly 98 percent of all hand-addressed letters and 99.5 percent of machine-printed mail.
  • The Postal Service has deployed 378 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in 27 facilities. AGVs use sensors and navigation technology to move around processing facilities without human involvement.
  • The Postal Service has one of the largest material-handling systems in the world for moving mail. There are more than 200 miles of conveyors within postal facilities.
  • The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 165 robotics systems to move 300,000 mail trays per day.

The Postal Service operates more than 8,500 pieces of automated equipment that processes and sorts nearly half the world’s mail.

  • The largest piece of automated equipment, the Enhanced Package Processing System (EPPS), sorts packages at 25,000 pieces per hour
  • The Flex Rover Sorter (FRS) is a wheeled robot that sorts large and non-machinable packages into containers. There are more than 600 rovers deployed at 40 sites across the country.
  • The Single Induction Package Sorter (SIPS) is the newest piece of automated equipment (tied with the FRS). It can sort packages at a rate of 2,500 pieces per hour and there are 51 new machines across the country.
  • The Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at a rate of 3,400 pieces per hour with a sort accuracy of 99.95 percent
  • The Robotic Containerization System (RCS) sorts trays and automatically loads rolling containers or pallets
  • The Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) positions letter mail and postmarks stamps at 36,000 pieces per hour
  • The Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS) reads the barcodes and sorts letters at 36,000 pieces per hour
  • The Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSM) sorts flat mail at 17,000 pieces per hour
  • The Automated Package Processing System (APPS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 9,500 pieces per hour
  • The High Throughput Parcel Sorter (HTPS) sorts packages and bundles at 15,000 pieces per hour
  • The Automated Parcel and Bundle Sorter (ABPS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 6,000 pieces per hour
  • Tray sorting machines sort more than 10 million trays per day through conveyor systems
  • Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs) provide real-time scanning for daily delivery operations. There are more than 260,000 MDDs in use nationwide.
  • Check out the Systems at Work video for more information. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX16-52bHvg)