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Scans in a flash

MDDs help provide customers with timely information

St. Paul, MN, City Carrier Assistant Craig Newell scans a Priority Mail piece with help from Customer Services Supervisor Cher Yang.

The Postal Service is continuing to grow its package business with help from new devices that let customers know when their parcels are delivered.

The Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs) are used to scan packages as they move through the postal network, including when letter and rural carriers deliver them. Customers can access this information instantaneously through the My package-tracking app.

Approximately 150,000 MDDs have been deployed since 2013. All carriers are scheduled to receive them by Sept. 30.

The MDDs are improving customers’ experiences in cities such as St. Paul, MN, where they arrived last year.

“‘Where’s my package?’ [is] the number one question we hear from customers. Right after that, they ask, ‘When will it be delivered?’” said St. Paul Customer Services Supervisor Cher Yang.

The new devices offer real-time scanning and GPS data, so carriers no longer need to carry both scanners and cell phones. The on-screen signature capability frees carriers from the task of filling out paper delivery receipts, improving efficiency.

Yang has trained about 200 carriers to use the devices. “The user interface hasn’t changed, so that makes the change [for employees] a lot easier,” he said.

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