The International Post Corp., a cooperative of postal operators from around the globe, relied on RFID technology to measure the quality of letter mail service in Europe last year. The IPC affixed RFID tags to about 160,000 priority and first class letters to help determine quality levels. The IPC tracked a total of 191,000 test letters, 80 percent of which contained RFID tags.
The priority mail items were tracked throughout the mail pipeline by RFID readers linked to a global RFID Network Identification device run by International Post Corp. The readers track the time that mail arrives at specific points and help to identify any delays which may occur along the postal routes, from origin country to destination country.
RFID has been in use for the UNEX postal quality of service measurement for 17 years. Currently, the technology is active in 46 countries, covering 340 sites with 1,500 RFID readers.
Quality of letter mail service in Europe continues to far exceed both the European Union’s speed objective of 85 percent of intra-EU mail delivery within three days of posting, and its reliability objective of 97 percent within five days. Performance recorded by the IPC UNEX™ measurement system in 2013 exceeded these objectives for the 16th consecutive year.
In 2013, 92.5 percent of international priority and first-class letter mail was delivered within three days of posting and 98.2 percent within five days. Average delivery time was 2.2 days. These results cover a total of 31 countries: the 28 EU Member States together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.