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Postal Service to employ state-of-the-art technology to improve delivery capabilities


WASHINGTON — The Postal Service has moved forward with another initiative to improve its delivery capabilities by awarding Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation an $874,639,000 contract to build a sophisticated system that will sort “flats” — large envelopes, magazines, newspapers, catalogs and circulars — in the order in which they are delivered.

Letter carriers today spend a portion of their workday in the “office” manually sorting flat mail, a labor-intensive process. The Flat Sequencing System (FSS) — designed in collaboration with Postal Service engineers — sorts mail in delivery sequence at a rate of 16,500 pieces an hour, helping letter carriers start delivering mail earlier in the day.

“The Flat Sequencing System will enable the Postal Service to provide more efficient service to our business customers, who rely on the mail to advertise, generate revenue, and get information into their customers’ hands as quickly as possible,” said Walt O’Tormey, vice president, Engineering.

A pre-production FSS will be installed and tested in Dulles, Va., in August, and nationwide deployment of 100 systems will begin in summer, 2008.

Last year, the Postal Service delivered 53.2 billion flats, consisting of 8 percent First-Class mail, 17 percent Periodicals, and 75 percent Standard mail.


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