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Travis Edwards

EasyPost To Support New 2-D Barcodes on USPS Labels for Improved Tracking

by Travis Edwards

At EasyPost, we're dedicated to improving your shipping process, and we're excited to introduce a significant enhancement: the integration of new 2-D tracking barcodes on USPS labels. This update brings the Intelligent Mail Matrix Barcode (IMmb) into play, utilizing the Data Matrix GS1 barcode symbology to elevate the accuracy and dependability of package tracking. 

Within the next few weeks, EasyPost will begin updating our USPS labels returned through our shipping API to include the new 2-D tracking barcodes. Importantly, this change does not necessitate any action from our customers.

The advantages of IMmb: enhanced package tracking

The IMmb maintains the same data payload as the existing 1-D IMpb but with noteworthy improvements. Its redundancy feature ensures that even if a section of the label is compromised, the tracking number remains scannable. This innovation is particularly valuable for packages like polybags and irregularly-shaped items that often pose scannability challenges.

USPS stated the following about the update: 

“The USPS® remains committed to improving package visibility by increasing the volume and quality of scan data that is collected within our processing environment. Extreme curvature, fold-overs, and creased shipping labels on soft packs and irregularly-shaped parcels often distort the current/traditional one-dimensional GS1-128 IMpb to an extent that the barcode becomes unreadable resulting in no-reads. This reduces overall package visibility to the merchant and customer and may require that the piece to be re-run or manually sorted. In an effort to improve processing efficiency and improve package visibility USPS has begun adding two (2) supplemental GS1-DataMatrix IMpbs to shipping labels.”

Example label below: 

Available now for your benefit – sign up today!

The updated USPS requirements for HazMat shipments will require the updated 2-D barcode labels and are set to be enforced on January 21, 2024. But given that this enhancement won't require any action from our customers, we are pleased to offer this upgrade ahead of schedule so our customers can benefit immediately. 

Shippers can discover the advantages of all of our enhanced carrier features by signing up for EasyPost today. Signing up is fast and free. 

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