How your mail gets delivered
The Singapore Post Centre (SPC) processes over 2.8 million local and overseas items everyday. This amounts to over 788.8 million items a year!
|Our customers now expect and enjoy high standards of next-day mail delivery. Mail items posted before 7.00pm (Mon-Thu) or 8.00 pm (Fri) within the Central Business District and before 5.00pm (Mon-Thu) and 6.00pm (Fri) outside the Central Business District will be delivered the next working day. The centre is therefore at its busiest in the late night and wee hours of the morning when Singapore Post's machines and postal workers beat the clock to make sure they get the mail ready for despatch by 6.00am the next day.|
|A mail item collected from postboxes is first passed through the Culler-Facer-Canceller (CFC) where bulky items or items that are too large or too small are separated. The postage stamp is 'cancelled', meaning that a postmark including the date of processing is printed on the stamp. The back of the mail item is then marked with a barcode called an ID tag, which allocates an identification number to the particular mail piece. The image of the mail piece is then sent to an off-line Optical Character Reader (OCR) so that the system is able to read the address and store it for sorting later. It is then collected and placed in a mail-tray and conveyed to the Barcode Sorting (BCS) machine.|
|The BCS machine then processes the item which is 'fed' to it by reading the ID tag and matching it to the address recorded by the system earlier. The BCS then prints another barcode, called the destination barcode on the front bottom-right-hand section of the envelope. This code represents the 6-digit postal code of the address the mail item is addressed to. Mail from the BCS is collected and passed for further sorting by the Delivery Barcode Sorting (DBCS) machine.|
|Meanwhile, the OCR machine is also busy reading addresses on mail items that are franked or prepaid and do not require postage stamps. The OCR processes 30,000 mail items per hour. These are usually mail items generated by corporations and business organisations. A photographic image of the address on the envelope is captured by the OCR machine which is then 'read' by the system. If the system is unable to 'read' the address and postal code, the image is sent to the video-screen of a human 'video-coder' who will manually enter the postal code into the system. A destination barcode is finally printed on the front of the envelope after which the mail item is sent to the DBCS machine for 'sequence-sorting'.|
|The DBCS machine sorts mail into the delivery sequence of each and every postman in Singapore. It does this at 35,000 items per hour. This simply means that the DBCS machine sorts barcoded mail from the BCS and OCR into an order that exactly matches the route the postman uses to deliver mail to addresses.|
|By doing this, postmen save time on sorting the mail before going out on delivery and have more time to deliver the mail. They are also able to go out on delivery an average of one and a half to two hours earlier.|