It’s hard to imagine a single part of our daily lives that hasn’t been changed by the seemingly unrelenting advances in technology. At the same time, it’s vitally important that businesses strive to keep up with the latest and most promising innovations to remain competitive and meet the demands of their customers. The U.S. Postal Service is no different.

Technological innovations have had a key role in helping the Postal Service improve the quality of service it provides customers. And, the OIG has been very busy looking into technological innovations that hold promise for the Postal Service. Over the past 10 years, we have written more than 30 white papers on technology-related topics. A new white paper looks back at this body of work to assess which technologies remain relevant today, which the Postal Service has implemented, and which may be candidates for future consideration.

We found that, over the past decade, the Postal Service has focused its technology development efforts on two areas — mail innovations and data analytics. Postal experts agreed that advancements in these areas will continue to lead transformation in the postal industry.

Other emerging technologies that haven’t yet had a major impact on the Postal Service are blockchain, the Internet of Things, and autonomous vehicles. While the Postal Service’s engagement with these technologies has been limited to research and testing so far, industry experts told us they anticipate these innovations will become increasingly impactful in the coming years.

The Postal Service’s recently released 10-year plan makes it clear that implementing new technologies will continue to be a priority going into the future. Which technologies do you think will grow in importance for the Postal Service and its customers? Have you used any of the Postal Service’s new innovations, such as Informed Delivery?

Comments (4)

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  • anon

    Mail innovation and cost recovery opportunities: 1. Use of low cost, reusable RFID tags affixed or contained within envelope or postcard would reduce waste, inventory and shipping cost, while enabling a smartphone user to “recharge” for next mailing. 2. USPS services increase with no additional cost to those utilizing the services but instead that cost is pushed onto taxpayers. Mailing revenue should exceed or match yearly costs like any viable business. 3. Expand digitized mail receiving option by allowing recipient to opt out of physical delivery altogether which would reduce transportation cost, Emissions, and optimize recycling efforts. 4. Offer digital mailing option of marketing material which can be printed closest to recipient or direct digital delivery. USPS email list is most likely more upto date providing value to marketers delivery efforts while minimizing waste.

    Sep 23, 2021
  • anon

    Hi Burton, your suggestion #4 was implemented and delivered to me today. HelloFresh was a clickable ad, and I did click it. I hope the USPS gets paid for clicks.

    Oct 04, 2021
  • anon

    USPS seems to already be in need of better tracking with accurate updates. My college text books have been “delayed” in the Ft. Worth distribution center for 2 weeks, along with an order for my business. My parents (who live next door) are still waiting on something they ordered a month ago to arrive. Tracking just says “on its way, but arriving late” with the last update on Sept. 1. I opened a case and nobody ever contacted me about a resolution, but I did get a feedback form asking how my experience was with the case. Considering this all, I’m not so sure any one technology is going to become more important for USPS, but I would say all of your electronic communications could use some attention. I’m not sure what to tell my college professor, but right now I’m looking at 2 zeros in my first 2 weeks of school because USPS can’t get my college textbooks to me. I’d at least like to know why I’m about to fail a class. Not sure what I did to deserve this, but nobody is contacting me about it either.

    Sep 08, 2021
  • anon

    Thank you, Cause for helping me with the change of address. Because my mail was getting stolen. Also was liable for fraud. In other means Identity Theft and Tax fraud.

    Sep 07, 2021