The United States Postal Service expects to see real time tracking in all 67 of its districts by the end of 2013.
The USPS introduced the intelligent mail device, also known as IMD Wireless, in January 2013, and is currently being used in 55,000 post offices nationwide. The IMD’s work as a “companion device” to the USPS’s current intelligent mail data acquisition system scanner, which provides wireless transmission of data, according to a USPS press release.
According to the release, “the IMD wireless solution will enable the IMDAS device to transmit product service information, as well as operational data for current programs like managed service points (MSP), collection point management system (CPMS), and global positioning system (GPS) data every 15 minutes.”
The new shipping solution, according to the release, also provides for a migration from the current local intelligent mail server (LIMS) to a web based regional intelligent mail server (RIMS) that will enhance future capability while retaining all of the current LIMS functionality.
The move, which was discussed during a recent Stamps.com webinar, was generated by the USPS to give “piece of mind” to both the customer and the shipper, according to Dennis Nicoski, manager, strategy and contacts, with USPS.
Nicoski said in the webinar that each package being shipped by the USPS goes through about 12 different scans on average currently. Now with the IMD Wireless device customers will be able to see real time tracking of their packages every 15-minutes.
Real-time tracking, according to a press release issued by USPS, “is quickly becoming the industry standard” and one that the USPS must provide order to stand up to its competition.
Harry Whitehouse, chief technology officer and co-CEO of Endicia, said in a recent phone interview, “I am very comfortable saying to any customer of ours that the USPS is now offering world-class tracking comparable to UPS and FedEx.”
For shippers, Nicoski said, the real-time tracking will allow oversight on cost, postal rates and shipping data.
Whitehouse said that this now gives retailers an even bigger boost in customer service. Due to the faster tracking capabilities, Whitehouse said, retailers can soon start notifying customers of delivery times within the hour.
“That’s big,” Whitehouse said.
By the fourth quarter, Nicoski said, the USPS expects to see 75,000 offices equip using 155,000 scanners on the street. By years end, Nicoski said, all 67 USPS districts will be using 216,000 scanners across the United States.