USPS | What The Postal Service Wants You To Know

What The Postal Service Wants You To Know … Setting The Record Straight!

For more than 235 years, the U.S. Postal Service has been delivering the nation’s mail in snow, rain and in the dark of night. However, tough economic and market conditions and unrealistic legislative expectations have created challenges that have never before been faced. Misconceptions about the future of the U.S. Postal Service abound — it’s time to set the record straight.

  • The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. We are required by law to cover our costs.
  • The Postal Service has the world’s largest retail network — larger than McDonald’s, Walmart and Starbucks combined (in U.S.).
  • The Postal Service can and does compete with the private sector — and it collaborates, too. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver more than 400 million of their ground packages to residences and the Postal Service pays them for air transportation — taking advantage of their comprehensive air network.
  • The Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the manpower, network infrastructure and logistical capability to deliver to every residence and business in the U.S. and its territories.
  • An independent assessment by Oxford Strategic Consulting named the U.S. Postal Service the best postal service among the 20 largest economies in the world. Criteria included the average number of citizens served, the number of letters and parcels delivered, service reliability and public trust.
  • The Postal Service is environmentally friendly and is a respected sustainability leader. It was promoting sustainable practices long before doing so was encouraged, mandated or governed.
  • Mail is a great communication tool. No monthly plans. No signal outages. No roaming charges. Regardless of geographic location, anyone can send a letter for just 45¢ anywhere in the United States and its territories.
  • Mail is reliable, trusted and secure — federal laws protecting the sanctity of the U.S. Mail are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • The Postal Service has the world’s largest civilian fleet and the world’s largest alternative fuel–enabled fleet of vehicles.
  • The Postal Service delivered 168 billion pieces of mail in 2011 — facilitating $10 trillion in commerce.

Innovation and Technology

From the telegraph, to the telephone, to the terabyte, the U.S. Mail has complemented every new technology.

Information Technology

  • We have one of the world’s largest e-mail systems. Over 3 million e-mails a day — over 1 billion annually — are delivered to nearly 208,000 e-mail accounts.
  • The Postal Service has the world’s third-largest computing network.
  • The Postal Service maintains one of the world’s largest intranets.
  • The Postal Service has a total inventory of 957 applications with 469 classified as national applications. Of those, 234 are considered critical to postal business functions.
  • There are 3,473 remote locations within the postal system that receive Internet service via satellite.
  • Our communications network supports and maintains 125,000 desktop computers, 21,000 notebook computers, 85,000 printers, 11,000 Blackberrys, 152,000 phone lines and 310,857 handheld scanners.
  • The Postal Service maintains 29,000 informational pages on its Website, usps.com.
  • The Postal Service has 22 petabytes of storage capacity — equivalent to more than 59,000 years of songs on an MP3 player with no repeats.
  • MeetingPlace hosts more than 50,000 meetings per month.
  • The Postal Service maintains 47,000 point of sale (POS) terminals nationwide.
  • 355 million internal e-mail messages and more than 13 million external e-mail messages are scanned for viruses every month.
  • There are nearly 103,000 e-mail messages blocked monthly due to viruses and more than 281,000 blocked due to content.
  • The Postal Service has nearly 284,000 vendors doing $16 billion in business annually using electronic money transfers.
  • More than 340 million credit and debit card transactions are processed annually in Post Offices and through usps.com.

Innovative Technologies

  • The Postal Service has the largest gantryrobotic fleet in the world using 174 robotics systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day.
  • The Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition technology with machines reading 93 percent of all hand-addressed letter mail.
  • The Postal Service uses more than 8,500 pieces of automated processing equipment to sort nearly half the world’s mail.
  • The Postal Service has one of the largest material-handling systems in the world for moving mail. There are over 200 miles of conveyors within postal processing facilities.
  • Intelligent Mail increases the value of mail for both the Postal Service and its customers. The Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) identifies individual pieces of mail, trays, sacks and containers of mail, and tracks them through the processing system.
  • The Flats Sequencing System (FSS) sorts “flat mail” (large envelopes, magazines, etc.) in carrier walk sequence at 16,500 pieces per hour.
  • In 2011, the Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS) automatically intercepted and forwarded more than 2 billion pieces of mail for the nearly 40 million address changes submitted.
  • The Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) positions letter mail and cancels stamps at 36,000 pieces per hour.
  • The Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS) reads the barcode on letters and sorts them at 36,000 pieces per hour.
  • The Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSM) sorts flat mail at 17,000 pieces per hour.
  • The Automated Package Processing System (APPS) processes packages and bundles of mail at over 9,500 pieces per hour.
  • The Automated Parcel and Bundle Sorter (APBS) processes packages and bundles of mail at over 6,000 pieces per hour.
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