Here’s intriguing information on how mail gets processed — something everyone should know.
The U.S. Postal Service has nearly 34,000 Post Office locations and more than 300 processing and distribution facilities nationwide. The expansive network processes nearly 430 million pieces of mail each day.
How It Works
Once you place your packages, letters or greeting cards in the U.S. Mail, Postal Service employees begin moving it through the network.
Mail is collected and moved to processing facilities. There, it’s separated into three categories — letters, flats and packages. Once the mail is separated, automated processing equipment sorts it by ZIP Code. Machines “read” the destination address, spray bar codes on pieces to automate them and check for postage.
Because packages come in many shapes and sizes, they are processed on equipment specifically designed to handle a variety of boxes. These systems move packages along a series of conveyors and rollers. Machines “read” the destination addresses, scan the bar codes to update tracking information, check for proper postage and determine the size and weight of the packages. The packages are then sorted into bins based on their final destinations.
After the mail and packages are sorted, they are moved to the loading dock and trucked through networks of processing and distribution facilities using an extensive fleet of vehicles. The mail ultimately arrives at a local Post Office location for delivery.
Employees at the Post Office location sort the mail by carrier. Mail for PO Boxes is placed into the box. The carriers gather the remaining mail, load their delivery vehicles and head out to deliver.
For Happier Holidays
To better handle increased holiday volume, the Postal Service has been making key network infrastructure investments. This includes, but is not limited to, installing 112 new package sorters and more than 50 additional systems to help sort larger packages, and adding space to accommodate packages by leasing more than 75 peak season annex facilities — plus more than 40 annexes on multi-year leases.
The USPS Delivers
This is just one part of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence.
It takes an immense network, sophisticated technology and tens of thousands of dedicated employees to get that special gift or card to friends and family for the holidays. The Postal Service has been delivering for the holidays for 246 years. It’s what they do.
For further information, visit usps.com/holidaynews.