The USPS expects to deliver 750 million packages this holiday season — that’s 5 million packages a day. This is a 12% increase from 670 million in the 2015 holiday season.
In response, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is deploying more than 5,000 additional Honeywell mobile devices as part of its expanded parcel tracking network. In addition to various permanent locations, the technology will be deployed at 58 temporary facilities being used to accommodate holiday shipments.
The USPS has deployed Honeywell’s CN51 rugged handheld computers to expand its Surface Visibility program, which allows the organization to internally track packages throughout the parcel pickup, sorting and delivery process. The devices allow workers at processing locations as well as drivers to scan and capture data about incoming and outgoing parcels, providing the USPS with greater visibility into where parcels are in its system.
“As consumers continue to expect fast, accurate delivery, the USPS needs to know the exact location of all of its parcels throughout the entire mail process,” said Lisa London, president of Honeywell’s Productivity Products business. “By incorporating Honeywell’s mobile computing and scanning technology, the USPS gains better visibility into its operational performance and can use that data to make more informed decisions to improve customer service.”
The CN51 mobile device is designed for rugged, outdoor environments. It features a large, multi-touch screen with powerful motion tolerance and support for omnidirectional 1D and 2D barcode scanning. The mobile device can withstand multiple five-foot drops to concrete and has an IP64 seal rating against rain and dust.
Honeywell has a strong legacy of supporting the USPS with mobile technology to help make drivers more productive and provide greater visibility into its transportation network. In 2014, the USPS deployed more than 270,000 Honeywell mobile computers to its postal delivery workers as part of a separate program designed to help customers track their mail and packages.
But where are the delivery drones?
Waiting impatiently for drone delivery service of your Christmas present? It’s probably not going to happen this year. But Reno-based startup Flirtey is hard at work bringing deliveries (on an albeit smaller scale) to reality and is responsible for a number of firsts. They recently delivered pizza by drone to a customer’s house in New Zealand.
Just prior to that they completed the world’s first fully autonomous drone delivery from a 7-Eleven store to a customer’s home. This delivery is the first time a U.S. customer has received a package to their home via drone, representing a historic milestone in both U.S. and global commerce.
However, if you’re waiting for an Amazon package from the USPS and relying on more humble transportation, rest assured, Alexa can now track your order and tell you when it should arrive. You can even use her to order your Christmas gifts from Amazon in the first instance.