Integrated mail processing

Integrated mail processing (IMP) is the new method that the Royal Mail today sorts the mail (in bulk) before delivery.


The Royal Mail has 39 mail centres and around 1,350 delivery offices from 115,000 post boxes, and handles around 82 million posted items a day. Nine Elms in the London Borough of Wandsworth has the largest sorting office in Britain, employing around 1,000 people. The USA has 21 Network Distribution Centers, which pass mail onto a sectional center facility.

Royal Mail has been implementing integrated mail processing technology since 1999.[1]


The system works by automated optical character recognition of postcodes. Integrated mail processors scan the front and back of an envelope and translate addresses into machine-readable code. Letters are given a red barcode that represents the address. The barcode follows the RM4SCC pattern.

Per mail item there are over 250 types of information that are collected from mail class to indicia type.

See also


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