Despite the advancement of e-mail, millions of paper letters are still sent around the world to their addressees every day. As a rule, this happens according to a well-established scheme, which is improved from time to time thanks to new technologies.
The letter begins its long journey in the mailbox, where the sender drops it. From there the letter is collected by a postal worker and brought to the central post office. There, on special equipment, stamps are automatically canceled and stamped. Then the letters are sorted.
In the USSR, there was an automatic sorting of letters. Later, the equipment became outdated and the envelope standards changed, so the letters had to be sorted by hand, taking into account the different countries, regions and cities after the collapse of the USSR. This painstaking work is still preserved in some parts of our country. In the central region of Russia, since 2009, this work has been carried out in an automated sorting center (ASC), which makes it possible to speed up the passage of postal items by several days.
In the ASC, a special stamping machine separates standard-sized letters from non-standard ones using mechanical analyzing devices and puts them in one direction. Then he puts on them wavy lines for cancellation of stamps and a calendar stamp.
The letter encoding and sorting machine sorts standard envelopes by address by scanning the required information using a device with an optical sensor. The letter with the address that the machine could not read is scanned and the picture is sent to the operator. He must very quickly read and enter the address in a certain program, otherwise the machine will send the letter to the container for non-standard letters.
Irregular or illegible envelopes are sorted manually by the center staff. This is why the zip code and the recipient's address in legible handwriting are essential for expedited work.
Sorted letters, which must be sent by air, are packed in special bags and taken to the airport. Ordinary mail is delivered to train stations by trucks. On the train, all mail is placed in a special carriage, where it is once again sorted according to its destination. Thus, letter packs are sent from station to station.
Postal trucks drive up to the station, pick up the letters and deliver them to local post offices, depending on the addresses indicated on the envelopes. There the letters are sorted for the last time and delivered by postmen to specific addressees.