New Scanners Leave Digital Breadcrumbs for Tracking Carriers


The new GPS-enabled scanners that have recently been deployed to letter carriers of the U.S. Postal Service transmit digital “breadcrumbs” back to Postal Service delivery manager computers that can be used to find and retrace the steps of letter carriers making their appointed rounds. Many letter carriers have already been briefed on the capabilities of the new scanners, and warned to do their daily duties accordingly or risk being identified by the new Delivery Management System (DMS) software program. For example, carriers have been warned that spending more than five minutes with another carrier on the street will result in an alert on the delivery manager’s computer. The DMS program has a host of tracking tools, including creating alerts when a carrier is running late. One of the most powerful tools of the DMS software is the Breadcrumbs feature that plots letter carrier movements throughout the day. The feature can be used to find a carrier, or the data can be played back to see where the carrier was minute-by-minute throughout the day. For example, in the above image of the Breadcrumbs feature in the DMS, the carrier has just started his day in the 6400 block of Anita and he has delivered one side of the block and is halfway down the other side of the block. Additional digital “breadcrumbs” will be added to the map as the letter carrier progresses on the route. A delivery supervisor can play back these breadcrumbs, with the corresponding time shown, to get a detailed view of a carrier’s day.

(Note, the above image is not an actual screengrab from a DMS program, but is an accurate representation.)

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  • DWMS69

    They say it is for the safety of the carriers. Don’t believe it! Watch the discipline fly. They will use data against the carriers. When you have a route inspection they will slam you with this data and add 2 hours to your route. So glad that I am retired!

  • Mr payaso

    Big mother is watching you, why not get go pros & film from start to finish, watch us sneeze , scratch,& fart- , stupid program

  • Retired

    It’s about time the Slugs, Sloths and Snails will get caught! They have been ripping off the system for years! The honest carriers have nothing to worry about.

  • cliff clavin

    They shouldn’t stop there management needs to monitored just as much as the carriers, see how much time management wastes and we will see how many of their jobs we could get rid of.

  • TeflonPalin

    Excited to get hold of the reports and find the CCA runners skipping lunches. Management will not permit employees to work off the clock. Let the grievances fly and hold the runners accountable!

  • juan merida

    They wiill just carry more mail

  • witty

    show up regularly, do the best you can, and you should have nothing to worry about … don’t believe me? go work in the private sector… I have.

  • MarioRom

    Interesting thought but from my experience it was the runners, lunch and berak skippers and house flaggers to run home early that were the problem. I had one supervisor at least twice a week find me and walk a loop. When I eventually questioned why, she said “Because you’re the only carrier I can find on the road after 1PM.” My reply to her was “Apparently I am not the problem, am I?” and she never came by again.

  • MJM

    The idea that there is some “right” to NOT be observed by your employer, while you are being paid to perform a specific task, is uniquely postal.

    People that work indoors are constantly monitored while they are being paid. You put a camera in the bathroom – that’s big brother.

    It’s like you hiring some guy to cut your lawn for $15.00 an hour. He tells you he doesn’t know when he’ll be done, could take an hour, could take four and – oh yea, you have to tell him in advance if you’re going to come out of the house.

    Paying attention to whether or not the lawn mower is on by listening is major unfair, if you didn’t tell him you were listening, and will result in you paying him for four hours even if he only works one.

    Pretty much every rule in the agreements that limits management’s rights are there for a reason and those agreements are what keep this from turning into a nightmare sweatshop in “pick country of your choice”; however, the right of management to manage – like, make sure you aren’t talking about your fantasy football picks with your buddy on a light day, instead of doing what you’re being paid to do, is perfectly reasonable and fully supported by the agreements.

    Beyond that, knowing where carriers are is an great tool. Knowing where someone is without having to look for them; knowing whether people need help or not without them having to call; knowing where a miss-delivered package was actually delivered, instead of the person that got it having to walk it to the person that should have got it (or just keep it or throw it away) – these are good things about the new scanners.

    The Service is filled with draconian senior managers promoted during the P/D era.

    They are the ones driving this as a “we can get you now” device, but the new PMG is smart and is changing things away from the “you’re all bad and it’s our job to prove it and fire you!” mindset.

    Now they’re going to know if you take a 45 minute lunch. Now they’re going to know if you hang out with coworker for 20 minutes after you had lunch and your breaks.

    The thing is, you shouldn’t be doing any of those things and you don’t have some “right” to get paid for not working. Getting angry about it is like a fast food worker getting angry that they actually have to prepare food instead of texting their friend.

    There will be some stupid stuff out of this, like someone getting fired for taking a 32 minute lunch. The process will fix the abuses.

    The main result is a really good tool that gives a lot of information we have needed for a long time to intelligently deliver mail and 99% of the time you can do what you need to do on a light day if you tell your supervisor and get authorization. – like have lunch with a coworker, take a long lunch to go to your daughter’s Saturday soccer game or deviate to go to the bank.

    The days of “You can’t see me, I’ll do what I want!” are over.

  • Rural Carrier

    I’m not worried about management tracking me, they will find me doing my job. I’m concerned about when the public will be able to track us. We will be the targets of their anger, the mailboxes receive a lot of abuse from angry people that want to “get back at the government” for something. When they can track us we will be blamed (for being a government employee) and attacked. I hope they never allow the public to track us.

  • joe
  • Cliff Clavin

    That’s a nice item for your own personal use, but I think if you tried bagging the USPS scanner, management would fire you immediately on the spot if they caught you just to see if they could make it stick.

    Be careful if you try being a pioneer. Pioneers are the first ones to get shot with all the arrows.

    Your scanner is a necessary tool for doing your job. If this GPS tracking causes carriers problems, let the unions do their job and let them fight USPS management.

  • cliff clavin

    THE UNION???? what union you should see our office our union reps are all buds with management Then make excuses why they won’t file a grievance

  • sh68137

    I won’t be happy until there’s a scan point in every mailbox in Omaha!

  • jjfad

    file your own, you are allowed

  • jjfad

    it wont add to your route if your where your supposed be. sorry people cant run their route and sit in the bar, or go home anymore. it cant be used for discipline, but they can come out on you and say were doing street ops. take your breaks, lunch, and comfort stops and youll be ok.

  • Target of Management

    Could you just disengage the battery?


    Allow the carriers to do their jobs, and keep the supervisors and postmaster in the office where they belong….in the office, behind their desks, and do what they do best….NOTHING! Why can’t the Postal Service do something positive……make equipment that works and not outdated, develop 8 hour routes, and work on positive results for the Post Office….and not looking for work for supervisors as “Baby-sitters”. Sounds like supervisors have way too much time on their hands….give’em a bag a let them deliver some mail! They’re the scum of the Post Office in case you non-postal employees didn’t know……..

  • Michelle

    Then step up and become the union!

  • Tired Mailman

    Congrats on your retirement! glad you made it. I’ve got 7 weeks to go!

  • John Ng

    usps is not a good place to work anymore. the mgnt is full of sht

  • mistaeric .

    So happy to be out of that joint! I did my 34yrs and got parole from the USPS(united states prison system) two years ago and could not be happier! These 100 degree summer temps are no joke, I feel for my ex-coworkers.

  • george lazarus

    The solution to get them off our backs, eliminate many of their worthless jobs, and remove the stress element from our jobs is to make our routes EVALUATED like rural ones but without the BS chickensh-t since some monetary leeway can be employed with the surplus cash their elimination will avail…

  • george lazarus

    When did u retire “Retired”? 1970? Did u ever work under DOIS? Again, probably not……Figures are fudged everyday to push u more and more and puts the burden on calling in even AFTER u told them ur not going to make their allotted time (or their made-up mandatory come back time) with their practiced incredulous retorts, and their bad attitude when u return….You see mister “Retired” the CCA’s are running the sh-t out of routes w/o breaks or safety: Not , how did you put it, “ripping off the system”, as management’s well cushioned arses would say!!!

  • Reality Check

    The NALC has blocked evaluated routes for city carriers. Management would love it.

  • Just Retired

    Retired from that $hit show May 31,2015 after 30 years.MSP, DPS,FFS, Tracking scanners,forget about it. I feel bad for the poor bastards that have 30 years to go. I had over 110 extra stops added to my route after 2 different “adjustments”. The Fat piece of $hit girl who did the adjustments never carried a piece of mail her whole life, and made sure the plant sent us no mail. Week of inspections nobody got more than 2 trays of FFS and no more than 3 trays of DPS. The usual day is about 7 trays of DPS and 5 trays of FFS. Forget the fact there were no parcels,they don’t f’n count anyway. What a joke. So glad I’m out.less money but my quality of life is 1000% better. Oh, I got a letter from the USPS today asking if I want to come back to work as a CCA from Dec.5 – Jan.10. LMAO.LOL. Are they kidding me!!!!!!!!!

  • baltimore bill

    I’m retired for about a year. Saw DOIS, MSPs, etc. Use your heads!!!! GPS tracking CAN be your best friend!! Work a comfy pace day in and day out!! They will be buried with their own data!!! BE CONSISTENT!!!!!!! We did it with MSP data!!

  • Old Mailman

    You must have been one of those lazy,overpaid Slugs,Sloths and Snails in management who couldn’t do the job.

  • Cindylee

    I have been with the postal service for 28 years and have seen drastic changes. One thing that never changed, supervisors are trained to question carriers assessment of their day, It is degrading and insulting and almost DAILY, unless the mail is unusually light. Two years ago, I bid my route, already too long(the carrier who was on my route prior to me, quit her job because of the stress), so the postal service did the logical thing, they added almost 30 minutes to my route. I honestly thought, dumb me, that the GPS would actually HELP my situation, since I am stringently following the rules but want logic to prevail and for the powers that be to see that this route is way way too long. Why do most of the changes coming into the postal service do nothing to serve the very people they pay to serve them? I work hard, am honest and courteous. All I ask is for them to use this information and adjust our routes to a bit over, but not where we require overtime daily. If carriers start getting cancer, will the Postal Service be liable? I personally don’t like this information pulsing through me all day long, 5 days a week.

  • Cindylee

    Agreed,. What in the World is for our safety when cell phones can cause cancer? These devices are pulsing info through us all day long….no bueno, lol. I am looking for my paperwork to file against the Postal Service when I get my first tumor….kinda joking….kinda not. The postal service treats its hardest workers the worst, and this is just another show of distrust but I still love this crazy job, probably because the scanners have poisoned my brain.

  • Cindylee

    I do that….and I still go through the humiliation of daily questioning when a new supervisor comes in because my route is way too long. I don’t mind following the rules, I just mind the deep distrust that the postal service is known for. II especially resent this when they KNOW I am following the rules, because I have had GPS on me for awhile now. Another thing, I see a clerk(most are good workers) but one hides all day. Supervisors don’t care about that….but they freak if they have to help a carrier make the office deadline because the route hadn’t had a 6 day count in years, but has been added to time and again since. Some carriers have too short of routes. Consistency is not a strong suit with management. If they seriously wanted to fix problems, there would be less unhappy carriers. I LOVE my job on the street and I get on the street fast. I am a very good carrier. My scanning is excellent and my customers rarely complain. What more could anyone ask? Oh yeah, I forgot where I worked for a second(wink)28 years and proud of it!!

  • Cindylee

    Runners cost the postal service. Most rehabs are ex runners.. Runners don’t get all their scans, misdeliver like crazy people and get into accidents. This needs to stop.

  • Cindylee

    I have never been super fast, but I am not a slug, but thanks for playing your superior card.. I do my job, and take my lunch and break and go take comfort stops when I need to. I do have 2 bad knees but I do not complain. I walk over 8 miles a day and I give good service. If you were not retired, you would KNOW we cannot cheat. We are watched every minute and we are not mentally incapable, so we tow the line I wonder how perfect YOU were….hummmmm. Since you are retired I would imagine you took a break with your lunch,(back in the day) because …hey, it was YOUR afternoon break, and you wanted to have time to meet a friend for lunch. We cannot do that now. It feels a little controlling to me. I miss my lunch friends and have a lonely packed lunch. I am an honest carrier. We just used to have fun running hard all week and helping each other out on Saturdays….it was a different time 28 years ago….but I KNOW….you were the only one that followed the rules each and every day of your carrier. Congratulations.

  • Cindylee

    I am only angry that we have this device on us and STILL after we DON’T break rules, and get out of the office as fast as we can, often clocking to street to load parcels if the clerks are still passing out mail, and scanning almost 100 percent daily(me) and making customers happy with pretty good service, that I have to STILL justify my time? Really? You guys watch me constantly and yet I hear of no problems because I am FOLLOWING THE RULES…so you might say, I am tired of being harassed because I am in need of a route adjustment, have begged for one and yet they don’t have authority…well then show me some respect and believe my expert assessment of how long the day will take me without help.New supervisors need serious training on how to keep morale up because there is sore need of mutual respect. Lack of respect never starts from me, I am a very understanding person but I never back down from a fight if I am unjustly bullied and the postal service has its share of bullies.

  • Cindylee

    Excellent idea.

  • Cindylee

    I don’t buy it. I am going to ask my union rep. Management never cites this excuse when they DON’T adjust my overburdened route.

  • Ed

    So said Hitler’s SS.

  • barb kosloski

    This new system sucks!! It does not show out for delivery. My tracking shows 2 pkgs were left at my house on12/02/15. I was home and no pkgs were delivered to my house in Sherman TX. Once a pkg leaves UPS and is transfered to USPS it falls into a black hole. Had a fill in carrier that day and mail shows it delivered at 448 PM cst. So where are my pkgs that your gps says were left off??

  • Dewayne

    So sick of being tracked like a dog all day! Get rid of the overpaid, unqualified, worthless postmasters! Our clerk is having to do hers and the postmasters jobs bc the postmaster just sits and watches us to see if we make a wrong move. This is unbelievable!! Triple volume every day and paid on evaluation! I want to get done and go home! Leave me alone and let me do my job!!!!!

  • james

    you have the right to ask for special route inspection.

  • OG Mudbone

    This system is so helpful the lazy fuck mailman drove into my apartments and scanned all of his parcels as “No secure location – notice left”. I got an update while I was outside the apartments with my dog and watched him drive off after 5 minutes of arriving. He was obviously late on his route and trying to go home, except I had already worked 12 hours for the day and have no tolerance for laziness. Fuckin joke of an organization needs to shut down. Only exists because it low-balled the Amazon Prime contract they fill with mediocre performance.

  • Coleman McDonough

    Another tool for the nepotism filled management ranks to use to harrass people,my old boss only needed a pencil and he ran three zipcodes and was done and down the bar by 10 am,of course now “modernization” means carriers start their day closer to 10 am. And whose word do we accept that the scanners aren’t harming us,the government?

  • Arnold

    So who’s watching the Bully Supervisors and Postmasters? Don’t know why it seems more like a detention center, or prison, or NUT HOUSE?? It’s only a POST OFFICE for pete sake.