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Keeping pace

USPS installing faster package sorters

Clerks use an Automated Delivery Unit Sorter at the Yakima, WA, Mail Processing Facility. From left are Derek Rowden; Rizaline Sparks, who is seen from the back; and Jennifer Munson.

The Postal Service is installing new package sorting equipment at 30 facilities across the nation.

The Automated Delivery Unit Sorters join 22 others that were installed in delivery units earlier this year during the initial phase of the rollout.

“By automating package sorting in delivery units, [these] machines will significantly reduce operational costs and improve customer service by accelerating package delivery,” said Don Crone, the Postal Service’s technology acquisition and program management director.

The equipment automates package sorting operations that are currently performed manually. Each sorter can rapidly process more than 2,500 packages per hour or 14,000 pieces per day.

Additionally, the machines’ accuracy rate exceeds 99.7 percent, eliminating the number of packages that are missorted. The improved efficiency also allows carriers to depart earlier to make their deliveries.

“The operators have been impressed by the sorter and enjoy working on it,” said Robert Hanlon, a senior delivery strategy specialist.

With the holiday peak season on the horizon, the deployment of the new sorters will help the Postal Service continue its efforts to grow its package delivery and shipping business.

Last year, USPS delivered 6.2 billion packages, almost twice the number delivered a decade earlier. A surge in consumers shopping online contributed to the increase.

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