USPS tests Automated Package Drop machines

The Postal Service is continuing to test new equipment that makes it easier for customers in retail lobbies to drop off packages for shipment.

The Automated Package Drop (APD) self-service machines allow customers to mail pre-paid and merchandise return parcels at their convenience.

Retail Associate Denise Richards uses an Automated Parcel Drop machine being tested at a Brooklyn, NY, Post Office.

Customers press a button on the APD to start the transaction and are prompted with instructions to scan the package’s pre-paid barcode.

Next, customers deposit the parcel through the machine’s door and collect a paper receipt with the acceptance scan date, time and tracking information.

“It’s easy as 1-2-3,” said Brooklyn, NY, Retail Associate Denise Richards. “Once [customers are] comfortable with the machine, they go straight to it.”

The machines are currently being tested in five retail lobbies in California, Florida, New York, North Dakota and Virginia.

The APD initiative is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to improve customer service and strengthen its package business.

Richards believes the machines will be a hit with employees and customers.

“It helps with the return of packages, it helps the [retail] line [stay small],” she said. “It’s perfect.”

Source: Easy as 1-2-3 | USPS News Link

  • SSA Extraordinaire

    Sure, anything to replace real postal clerks. What better way to drop off drugs, bombs and other illegal things, than to use a machine, to avoid any personal contact with a trained clerk? Why this machine, rather than at least expand the Postal Kiosk, which at least was more of a full service machine, but still was designed merely to replace a human being.

  • Doreen Jackson

    How is this more convenient than having your carrier pick up the parcel at your home or business??

  • Ross

    Many folks don’t have a safe place to leave a parcel for pickup. I’ve personally had a lot of trouble getting reliable pickups – about 5-10% would get missed. As a result, I haul everything to the post office now, as eBay requires a 1 business day ship time for top rated seller status. I can’t afford any misses. Plus my local PO is accepts mail until 7 PM, so I can get more orders out each day.

  • JY

    Pretty much what Ross said. Also, walking carriers have a size and weight limit on what they can pick up. You can’t expect a walking carrier to pick up a huge 30 lb box.