USPS to install new mail-sorting technology

The US Postal Service is to install new mail sorting equipment that willimprove service whilst reducing costs.This technology successfully boostedpostal efficiencies in the processing,distribution, and delivery of letter mail.The new system will soon be applied tothe sorting of "flats"– large envelopes,magazines, catalogues, and circulars. Known as the Flats SequencingSystem (FSS), the equipment is designedto sequence […]


The US Postal Service is to install new mail sorting equipment that willimprove service whilst reducing costs.This technology successfully boostedpostal efficiencies in the processing,distribution, and delivery of letter mail.The new system will soon be applied tothe sorting of "flats"– large envelopes,magazines, catalogues, and circulars.

Known as the Flats SequencingSystem (FSS), the equipment is designedto sequence flat mail at a rateof approximately 16,500 pieces perhour. Scheduled to operate seventeenhours per day, each machine will becapable of sequencing 280,500 piecesper day to more than 125,000 deliveryaddresses.

Phase I of the programme calls for an initial order of 100 FSS machinesto be deployed to 33 postal facilitiesbeginning in the summer of 2008. Aprototype FSS was installed earlier thisyear at the Indianapolis Mail ProcessingAnnex, where it was tested sortingmail in delivery sequence for carriersin that area. A full-size pre-productionmachine will be installed at the Dulles,Virginia mail processing facility, whereit will operate six days a week for aone-year period (August 2007 to July2008).

As this test proceeds, the USPS willstudy and measure the system’s effecton downstream transportation, logistics,work methods, and other longlead-time activities required to supportdeployment in 2008.