BOSTON — The U.S. Postal Service has awarded a $300 million contract to Lockheed Martin to update the sorting technology at 74 of its largest distribution centers. Lockheed made the announcement yesterday at the Fall 2002 National Postal Forum.
Under the contract, Lockheed will integrate and modernize the USPS’ small package processing capabilities through the installation of a new system known as the Automated Package Processing System. The USPS is upgrading its existing parcel processing network to advance its competitive position in the parcel delivery market.
Earlier this month, the USPS’ Board of Governors approved APPS, which will replace more than 100 of the mechanized small parcel and bundle sorting machines at the 74 facilities.
Lockheed said its system will be able to sort First-Class packaged mail, Priority Mail envelopes and parcels, and bundled mail such as magazines or catalogs, with greater efficiency and higher accuracy. The system is capable of processing more than 9,500 packages an hour with machine printed or handwritten addresses.
The system is expected to be deployed nationwide beginning in 2004, and the rollout should be complete by 2005. If all additional quantities are exercised through 2006, more than 120 systems could be delivered.
Lockheed’s prototype was competitively field tested in 2001 and is in use at a Minneapolis mail annex. Lockheed is based in Bethesda, MD.