The Universal Postal Union, the U.N. agency that oversees the worldwide postal service, said yesterday that it has selected AirClic Inc. to provide scanners that will allow postal operators to track delivery of international parcels and express mail items.
Under the agreement, AirClic, Blue Bell, PA, a technology and wireless enhancement provider, is allowing postal operators from the UPU's 189 member countries to use a barcode scanner that is attachable to cellular phones. The postal operators can use the devices to scan packages and immediately provide information confirming a successful delivery.
The mobile barcode scanner wirelessly connects the mail deliverer to the International Postal System, a global central database provided by the UPU, facilitating the track and trace service. The scan will let customers know where each item is at any given time, when it arrived and when it left the sender.
Postal operators handle about 430 billion letters and parcels annually and serve customers in more than 700,000 postal outlets worldwide.
A key challenge has been to capture proof of mail delivery accurately, efficiently and in real time and provide effective tracking to the postal service and the sender. Though the IPS has been implemented in 42 countries, mail delivery personnel have been able to enter information in the database only after they return to their base office.
The service is based on AirClic's Click-Thru technology, which lets mobile users with wireless devices access information and services. Additional features are being developed based on requirements of postal workers and customers.