Aussie Post keeps track with RFID

Post progresses on RFID mail tracking

More than 12,000 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are being used in letters every month to track the delivery of mail by Australia Post.

The government business enterprise has replaced manual monitoring of mail delivery with RFID tags.

In its annual report released today, Post said RFID monitoring of mail came into effect from July after being run in parallel with manual monitoring for six months.

"We installed radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that will enhance our ability to monitor our service performance and provide a better analysis of potential problems within our delivery network," the report said.

Under the system, monitoring company Research International inserts RFID tags into "test letters" that can be tracked throughout the course of their journey.

"Whereas the previous system measured our overall postal performance, RFID technology will also provide intermediate measurement points throughout the journey of test mail items.

"This detailed information will enable us to better identify and solve any problems that arise within the mail network," the report said.

Many tags were recovered and reused, according to Post.

Post has installed new hardware, software, and monitoring equipment in its nine metropolitan letter processing facilities, as well as in 21 country mail centres, 23 delivery centres and in 16 mobile units.

Audit firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is providing quarterly and annual certification of Post's performance.

Under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989, Post is required to meet a standard of 94 percent on-time delivery of items. Post delivered 95.6 percent of domestic mail on time or early over the past financial year.

Post recorded a before-tax profit of AU$515.6 million for the past financial year, a 9.7 percent increase on the previous year.

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