Photo: Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images
The United States Postal Service needs help.Online retail sales are on the rise, which means people need all those packages delivered. The USPS knows this, but right now, it can’t fully take advantage of it.
Why is that?
It just doesn’t have the technology.
That’s why it posted a “request for information” on a U.S. government website. It’s looking for advice from private companies or individuals about routing packages, though it’s not offering any compensation right now, Elvina Nawaguna at Reuters reported.
The USPS needs a “dynamic routing system” so that it can deliver packages more efficiently outside its everyday routes. It also wants to offer services like same-day delivery and store pickups.
Here’s what USPS spokeswoman Sue Brennan had to say in an interview with Reuters:
“There’s an upside and a downside to the Internet. It has decreased our first class mail, but what it’s done is that people are shopping online and they need someone to deliver these packages.
… We’re looking for a system that will enable expedited delivery of packages in a delivery sequence that makes best use of our resources: employees, their time, fuel, etc, outside of regular carrier routing … Someone could just be delivering packages and it wouldn’t be every house in a neighbourhood – so what’s the best way to get to all the addresses in a specific geographic area or ZIP Code?”
FedEx and UPS have both been using dynamic routing for years, which has let them to “do more with less,” according to Reuters. The systems are “fairly complex” and they’re constantly being invested in and updated.
UPS, for instance, uses computer modelling to avoid left turns whenever possible. This way, drivers can turn right on red lights (where it’s allowed) to save time.
The USPS wants something to help it deal with traffics, turns, customised delivery deadlines, speed limits, and more.
“Ultimately, USPS is looking for a flexible and robust system, but also one suitable for quickly scaling up to the full USPS network,” according to Post & Parcel.
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