USPS To Market Test First Class Tracer

USPS will test a new product called First Class Tracer in a limited market area. The product will enable customers to follow their greeting cards, postcards, and personal and business letters as they travel through the mail processing system.

Here’s how it will work. Customers will purchase an adhesive barcode that will be placed directly under the postage of their individual letters.They will be able to follow the mailpiece using the tracer barcodes by checking the numbers online at, or by using a unique QR code with their mobile device.

On average, each item with a First-Class Tracer will receive 2-4 scans that customers can follow as it makes it’s way to delivery.

This innovative idea is in answer to some customers requests. What do you think?

Would you like to trace some of your letters and cards? Will it catch on?USPS First Class Tracer

source: Your Postal Blog

USPS Notice To PRC

USPS First Class Tracer Notice Nov 2011

12 thoughts on “USPS To Market Test First Class Tracer

  1. As a USPS tech I use the MHTS to track my personal letters to the family. It’s not user friendly but does the job. It would need a new interface for the general public.

  2. Don the links frequently provide more information than the actual article.

    As far as the availability of tracking info goes look up planet codes, CONFIRM, four state bar codes, MITS, IMAQ and, MHTS.

    The last three are pretty restricted to the postal intranet.

  3. DON, did you read the PDF?

    it clearly states that these barcodes will NOT get a delivery scan.

    They will only be scanned in the P&DC’s as they are sorted on automation.

  4. Where does it say the carrier will not scan the piece? Why wouldn’t we? Like to know where uncommon sense get’s their information on how this will work?

  5. This does not provide delivery confirmation. The Carrier will not scan the piece. It will only tell the customer where and when it runs through a letter sorting machine. If the customer likes the service it could be highly profitable. I am not sure that enough customers will like it to make it worthwhile.
    The usps has been providing a similar service for years to bulk mailer’s for almost no charge per letter.

  6. What idiot thought of this? Why send certified letters if you have this service? Carriers might have hundreds of these and think of the time it’ll take to process them. This whole idea will really slow down delivery. And I hope where ever they test this they do it under real conditions like snow and rain. I agree with the comment before me this will create time, and time is money. But at what cost to the customer? Slower service?

  7. I’m a carrier and I’m fine with more and more scans, as long as Management recognizes that the more items that I have to scan, the longer my job requires in the street. Uhhh, they DO realize that, don’t they?? Now consider that I make about $25 per hour as I aim my scanner and then retype all of the bar codes that don’t scan correctly (50% more in overtime status). Is it possible that extra labor costs (scan each item 2-4 times) will eat up the $.30 or $.40 per item they expect to charge? Truthfully the concept may have some appeal but they’ll have to price it reflecting the true incremental costs.

  8. Spending dollars to make pennies. I thought first class was on the decline,no longer sustainable in the postal service… why invest in an obsolete product.

  9. If anyone has ever tried to trace a piece of mail within the USPS tracking system, they know the piece is often delivered for several days before the System even knows there is such an item.

  10. Knowing how the processing plant cancels all stamps, the possiblity of these cancellation marks going thru these tracking stickers is almost certain, which means when I go to scan it as delivered I won’t be able too which will mean I will have to take more time to type in these numbers thus extending my street time. I guess this will just be another thing to put on the 3996. But of course mangement will say it won’t take any longer on the street with this new service.

  11. may be a market for this type of service but i see some problems.
    first, it seems like having this “bar code identifier” under the
    stamp/postage will be a flashing signal to a thief that this card/ letter
    may contain something valuable and would be a good thing to steal.
    also, could be a potential security risk as someone who wanted to send explosives or harmful through the mail could possibly “see” where
    the package was at if they were looking for a specific location to do their
    destruction. knowing the competence of postal management i am thinking
    that the information provided to the customers that buy this service will
    be incomplete, or wrong, or untimely. as postal management keeps bringing new employees in making $14 dollars an hour with no benefits ones common sense tells them the theft of and from the mail will significantly increase. so much for the sanctity of the mail. this new service may make it easier for postal thieves to spot the “best” mail they should steal.

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