USPS Flats Sequencing System: The End of an Era?

In February 2007, the USPS contracted to purchase the next generation of automatic delivery point sequencing equipment designed to reduce processing costs of flat mail. “Flats,” as they are called, include large envelopes, magazines and other types of widely distributed mail.

The Flats Sequencing System (FSS) is a massive system approximately the length of and one-half the width of a football field. It consists of several vital subsystems and required extensive preparation of USPS mail processing plants before its deployment to the field. The FSS was part of the USPS’ then five-year transformation plan.

This project had a pre-production price tag of $1.3 billion from the manufacturer. The USPS worked to reduce the system’s scope and price. Ultimately, a firm, fixed price of $874 million was agreed on for the production and deployment of 100 FSS units at 32 sites around the country and an additional two FSS units at the Postal Service’s training facility in Norman, OK.


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Another example of how the Postal Service wastes money to the tune of billions at a time.

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