USPS takes great care to keep track of the millions of packages it handles in a day, and it does that by scanning each package so that tracking information populates for consumers.
So what kind of scanning technology does USPS use, and how does it work? I’ve been curious about the same thing and decided to look into the matter! That said, here’s everything I found out!
What Scanner Does USPS Use In 2023?
USPS uses the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer handheld scanner to help keep track of packages as of 2023. The Zebra TC77 Touch Computer was created in September 2018 and adopted by USPS in early 2020 for its durability and reliability. The scanner comes with many features, including being waterproof, drop-proof, and tumble-proof while having an outdoor-viewable screen.
The Zebra TC77 Touch Computer scanner has helped make USPS more efficient in more ways than one, so keep reading to learn more about how it works and how to use it!
What Type Of Scanner Does USPS Use?
The handheld scanner USPS employees use to scan packages is the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer.
That said, the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer is an ultra-durable handheld device that’s perfect for day-in, day-out use for USPS employees.
Further, this scanner is one of the sturdiest options on the market and includes the following features:
- Drop-proof (eight-foot drop rating)
- Tumble proof
- Advanced touch screen technology (functions when wet and while wearing gloves)
On top of that, the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer is an Android-based device that runs the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system with Zebra Mobility Extensions and is touch-only, meaning there’s no keyboard.
Also, the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer scanner has 4G LTE cellular data capabilities, an outdoor viewable screen, and is rechargeable.
With that, the device has replaceable batteries that offer up to 15 hours of battery life with advanced 1D and 2D scanning capabilities.
Moreover, USPS adopted the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer handheld scanner to help bring its scanning technology into the 21st century.
So, if you want to learn more about the tech specs of the Zebra TC77 and product information and performance data, you can check out the MobileIDSolutions page on this new scanner here.
How Do USPS Scanners Work?
USPS scanners were adopted into the business to serve several functions.
First and foremost, USPS’ goal is to scan all barcode mailpieces that enter its mainstream to track all available mailpieces to offer real-time visibility to customers.
Also, scanning all mailpieces with barcodes allows USPS to collect relevant data such as how long shipping takes, how long it takes a given courier to complete their route, and where packages travel to and from.
By collecting this data, it enables USPS to introduce new initiatives, technology, and solutions to help make it more efficient and give consumers more control over how and when their mail is shipped.
Additionally, scanners enable USPS to track packages for internal reasons.
For example, it’s proven to be indispensable when it comes to finding lost packages or packages that have been heading the wrong way.
By catching these mistakes sooner rather than later, USPS has the opportunity to save the package and correct any issues for consumers while simultaneously bettering its business.
Finally, scanners are extremely helpful for couriers in two major ways. So, the first way scanners are critical to couriers is to keep them on track.
For example, scanning the packages as they get dropped off allows the courier to verify that each mailpiece is being delivered to the correct place.
Using the scanner, a courier is constantly updating the USPS system on progress through a given route, both in terms of location and distance traveled, and deliveries completed.
How Do You Set Up A USPS Scanner?
When initially handling a Zebra TC77 Touch Computer, you’ll notice that it has a very similar interface as a consumer-level android phone.
Therefore, once you’ve turned on the Zebra TC77 scanner, the screen will populate a welcome message and a yellow “start” button.
After you’ve hit the “start” button, the next step will be to connect the scanner to WiFi the same way you would a new phone.
Then, the scanner will provide a list of available WiFi networks to choose from, and then you make a selection and enter the passcode.
Once you’ve entered the passcode for the WiFi network, you’ll be able to log in to the handheld scanner with your employee identification number and password and get started!
How Do You Use USPS Scanners?
To use a USPS scanner, first ensure it is properly set up.
After you set up the scanner, the first step to using it is to log in to the scanner using your employee identification number and password.
Then, after you log in to the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer handheld scanner, it will populate all of your information instead of the old scanner, which requires you to scan your badge to see the information.
To use the scanner to scan packages, you use the yellow buttons on either side of the device, which was added to make scanning as easy for left-handed people as it is for right-handed people.
So, because the Zebra TC77 is equipped with state-of-the-art barcode scanners, it will scan a barcode much faster than the older scanners.
If the package you’re scanning is a delivery, the device will automatically count the delivery as completed on your device.
Suppose the package you’re scanning is a package you’re accepting or picking up rather than delivering. In that case, this information will populate on the left side of a number ratio.
For example, if you’ve delivered 22 out of 50 packages, the number on your screen will read 22/50 packages completed.
If you pick up a package, the number will change to 22/51 packages completed.
With that, any pick-ups you make along your route will change the number on your screen, regardless of whether or not the package you picked up is deliverable that day or along your given route.
Also, USPS is currently working on a fix for this particular issue.
Still, generally, the ratio being added to by pick-ups does not affect a postal worker’s ability to deliver packages on time or correctly.
USPS uses the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer handheld scanner.
That said, the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer scanner is an ultra-durable, Android-based device that comes with multiple new features like 1D and 2D barcode scanning for higher efficiency and being waterproof, drop-proof, and tumble proof.
Also, the Zebra TC77 Touch Computer has a screen that’s easy to use and read even outside or when the screen is wet and comes with rechargeable and replaceable batteries with up to 15 hours of charge.