USPS Finishes First Phase of PARS Deployment

The first phase of the U.S. Postal Service’s Postal Automated Redirection System deployment is complete, the agency said yesterday.

PARS uses enhanced automation equipment and recognition technology to identify and intercept undeliverable-as-addressed letters earlier in the sorting process and automatically redirect them to the correct addresses.

The USPS has said that 16.1 percent of the U.S. population moves annually, generating 43 million change-of-address forms. This translates into 2 billion pieces of mail that are forwarded in a highly, labor-intensive environment.

The first phase of the deployment involved installing scanning equipment at 87 computer forwarding system sites nationwide. The equipment is part of the Change of Address Forms Processing System, which replaces the mechanized terminals previously used to manually enter information.

“The cards can be read by an optical character reader,” said Raj Kumar, USPS engineering program director. “The forms are all scanned and the images sent to one of four Remote Encoding Centers to be processed.”

The next phase of PARS’ deployment is scheduled to begin Aug. 29, continuing through August 2007 at 233 processing and distribution centers. Full deployment to the Phase I and II sites is estimated to save more than 5.5 million labor hours annually and save the USPS $1 million a day.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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