The USPS® has recently updated their Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs) by selecting Zebra Technologies as their next-generation MDD provider. Introduced a few years ago, an MDD is a device similar to a smartphone that postal carriers use along their routes. They allow carriers to track package delivery in real-time, and they enable the Postal Service to track and see where carriers are going. The new 300,000 Zebra TC77 touch devices will optimize the delivery network with Zebra’s Android™-based system, optimizing operations in the on-demand economy while providing customers with the speed, accuracy, and real-time tracking they expect.
In 2019, the Postmaster General announced a few new focus areas to help leverage the data gathered by MDDs. This includes a new Vice President of Logistics, Robert Cintron, who will be able to focus specifically on this area. By utilizing these newly enhanced MDDs, the USPS is going to be able to get the level of granularity they need to be able to see where mailpieces are going and if they are delivered on time.
From an industry perspective, this holds great promise for Informed Visibility®. Chris Lien, President of BCC Software, recently shared his thoughts regarding this topic on the latest episode of BCC Software’s Industry Corner podcast:
“It would be amazing to envision an opportunity where we’ve got enhanced daily feeds or hourly feeds, of Informed Visibility data that astute marketers can be leveraging so that we know not only the day that mailpiece is going to arrive, but also the projected hour of its arrival. I can envision that the MDD devices could also gather additional information that could make logistics and delivery decisions for mail preparation. It could be a very powerful thing to know where the actual mail moment is occurring. I think these MDD devices hold great promise for the industry and I am glad the Postal Service is leveraging actionable data to be able to improve their overall total factor productivity to ensure the increased on-time delivery scores they’re working toward in 2020.”
The updated Zebra TC77 MDDs will be rolled out throughout the first half of 2020 and are expected to help the USPS as it expands its package delivery products and services. These updates will also enable the USPS to remain competitive in a package market increasingly dominated by the likes of Amazon and FedEx.