Intelligent Mail barcode, also known as IMb or OneCode, is barcode technology used by the USPS to track and sort mail pieces.
It was first introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the POSTNET and PLANET barcodes that were previously used by the USPS.
Overall its been a good upgrade for the UPS. The Intelligent Mail barcode is more efficient and reliable for mail delivery than the previous systems. It also provides better tracking and reporting for businesses and individuals that send mail.
How the Intelligent Mail Barcode is Formed
The Intelligent Mail barcode is a 65-bar code that is made up of four key elements:
- a 20-digit tracking code
- a 6-digit routing code
- a 9-digit delivery point code
- a 30-digit Intelligent Mail container barcode
The new barcode looks like this:
What Each Piece of the Bardcode Tells You
- Tracking Code - unique to each individual mail piece and allows for the USPS to track the mail's movement through the system
- Routing Code - used to route the mail to its final destination
- Delivery point Code - used to identify the specific delivery location
- Intelligent Mail Container Barcode - used to sort mail into containers and automate the mail processing system
The barcode allows for a more efficient and reliable mail delivery system, as the barcode provides detailed information about each mail piece that is being processed. This allows for the USPS to more effectively route and sort the mail, reducing the time and resources needed to process it. Its a huge upgrade from the previous versions of POSTNET and PLANET. The image below shows the old barcodes, you can see immediately how much more detailed this barcode is and how much more data can be stored using this new method.
If you are a business, this small change makes mailings more effectively and provides you the ability to give your customers much better customer service.
Cost Savings for The Win
The Intelligent Mail barcode also provides businesses with more cost-effective mailing options. By using the barcode, businesses can take advantage of discounted postage rates for automation-compatible mailings, reducing the overall cost of mailing. This is particularly important for businesses that send large volumes of mail, as it can help to reduce their mailing costs significantly.
Learn To Harness the Barcode
Once you learn how to read the information on the barcode you open up a ton of possibilities on how to manage your business, and get in front of your customers. You can obtain information about the delivery times, delivery rates, and delivery locations of your mail pieces just from this code. You will improve your mailing strategies and better understand the effectiveness of your mailing campaigns.
Intelligent Mail barcode is powerful. Study up if you are getting into direct mail, or send a lot of transactional mail like invoices or collection letters. It can only help you make your life easier.