In the world, there are several varieties of barcodes. A particular form of barcode set is used by the post office to manage and transmit mail, letters, posts, and other items with ease. It might be difficult to choose which barcode would work best for the banking and post office industries given the wide variety of barcodes available. However, we will assist you in selecting the appropriate barcode for post offices with the aid of this article.

Multiple barcodes are employed in posts, mail, and couriers to better handle the various post office processes. Mail barcodes have previously been sighted on many occasions. A PostNet, Planet, or Intelligent Mail barcode has likely come into contact with you, regardless of whether you work in the printing and mailing sector or merely receive mail at home. These codes can merely appear to many people as a collection of black lines. However, what do they actually contain and why are they significant?

Types of Barcode in Post Office:

The post office uses a variety of barcode types for shipping and receiving mail, letters, and couriers. POSTNET, PLANET, IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode), USPS GS1-128 (EAN-128), FIM (Facing Identification Mark), and other forms of barcodes are used at post offices for seamlessly driving postal services.

POSTNET (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique):

The United States Postal Service created POSTNET barcode technology to encode ZIP Code. This form of postal barcode enhances mail delivery in terms of speed and precision. On the left and right of the encoded barcode, there is a supporting bar (guard rail) that is of full height. Five bars are used to represent each digit of a number, with two out of five bars of full height.


PLANET (Postal Alpha Numeric Encoding Technique):

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) uses this barcode technology to inspect and trace mail throughout delivery. A planet barcode has between 12 and 14 digits. Similar to POSTNET, PLANET's five-bar barcode pattern has two short and three complete bars. At the beginning and end of this barcode type, there is a full bar which called guard rail.

PLANET Barcode

IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode):

IMB is a 65-bar postal barcode used to manage and track mails. This new barcode technology is intended to be more effective than its forerunners, PLANET and POSTNET. IM barcode also refers to a 4-State Customer Barcode and One Code solution. It successfully includes routing ZIP Code and tracking information in one barcode, similar as the earlier barcode POSTNET and PLANET systems combined.

Data encoded in IMB:

  • Barcode ID
  • Service type ID
  • Mailer ID
  • Sequence/Serial Number
  • Routing code (ZIP Code)
Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB)

USPS GS1-128 or EAN-128:

The EAN-128 barcode, sometimes referred to as Code 128 and GS1-128, is used by the USPS for specific services including delivery confirmation.

Postal Code 128

FIM (Facing Identification Mark)

Facing Identification Mark or FIM bar code is created to help with the automated processing of mail. A series of vertical bars known as the FIM are printed on the envelope or postcard's upper edge. The firm that prints the envelopes or postcards, not the USPS, applies the FIM, which is particularly designed for use on pre-printed envelopes and postcards.

Importance of Postal Barcodes

  • Without having to wait for a clerk to be assigned, mailing processes may be acheived for 24/7, eliminating bottlenecks in the verification process.
  • Increase the tracking and delivery process's flexibility.
  • Reduced cost for eligible mailings filed through Seamless Acceptance.
  • Postal barcodes aid in decreasing the quantity of undeliverable mail.
  • Barcodes for post offices prevent mail or courier from taking longer verification process than necessary.

Future of barcode technology in Post Offices:

The future of barcode technology in post offices is expected to see significant growth and development, with several advancements that will improve package tracking and delivery in several ways

Enhanced tracking and visibility

Barcode technology can be used to enhance tracking and visibility of packages throughout the postal service. This will help customers to track their packages in real-time, leading to increased transparency and reliability.

Improved sorting and routing

Barcode scanners can quickly and accurately sort and route packages to their final destinations, reducing the chances of lost or misplaced packages.

Faster and more efficient processing

The use of barcode technology in post offices can help speed up and streamline the processing of packages, reducing the time and resources required for manual input and processing.

Better customer service

Barcode technology can be integrated with customer service platforms, enabling customers to access real-time information about the status of their packages. This can include delivery times, locations, and any potential delays or issues.

Increased automation

The use of barcode technology can help increase automation in post offices, reducing the need for manual input and improving overall efficiency.

Overall, the future of barcode technology in post offices looks promising, with continued advancements that will improve tracking, sorting and routing, processing times, customer service, and automation. These innovations will help to improve package tracking and delivery, making it faster, more reliable, and more transparent for customers.

Most used barcode type in post office and their difference:

The US Postal Service (USPS) employed the PostNet (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique) barcode symbology to route mail and packages. The Planet (Postal Alpha Numeric Encoding Technique) barcode used to identify and track mail. These two symbologies were frequently combined and utilised as part of the USPS's Confirm service initiatives. The USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) replaced PostNet and Planet

Comparison table

Storage Capacity Low capacity Low capacity Low capacity
Character Set Numeric Numeric Numeric
Maximum Capacity Numeric 14 Numeric 12 to 14 Numeric 31
Error Identification and Fixing For mistake detection and repair, PostNet uses redundant information contained in a small barcode format. Planet does not include error-correction encoding and instead uses a modulo-10 check digit to identify problems. 130 bits are represented by 65 vertical bars, and 27 bits of those 130 bits are used for error detection. Error correction is not encoded in the code.

Difference between PostNet, Planet and IMB

  • IMB has a bigger capacity compared to PostNet and Planet. There are five IMB fields: the Routing Code, the Mailer ID, the Serial Number, and the Barcode Identifier (AKA Zip Code). The value-added service a user wants may be determined with the use of these fields.
  • In essence, Planet code digits reversed long bars for short bars and short for long, making them the opposite of PostNet code digits.
  • In addition to offering improved tracking information, IMB successfully unifies data from Planet and PostNet into a single symbol. As a result, IMB offers a feature that enables customers to access numerous services with a single barcode.

Finding the best postal barcode type:

You now have a better knowledge of the modern applications for the most popular post office barcode kinds. Use Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) to encode tracking ID, ZIP code, and other information for your mail or post. You may choose the best kinds of barcodes for post office requirements with the aid of the knowledge we've offered.