A Closer Look at the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb)

We recently discussed how the USPS is replacing the POSTNET Barcode with the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb), but what makes the IMb the better option. Let’s take a look.

The Intelligent Mail barcode encodes information such as the delivery address, Mailer ID sort information, piece sequence number and piece sorting information. The IMb contains 65 bars within its code, allowing for 20 additional digits of data beyond the POSTNET barcode.

There are two types of IMb’s—basic and full-service. Basic IMb encode the Barcode ID, Service, Type ID, Mailer ID and delivery routing information. Full-Service IMb’s are a bit more complicated for mailers, but offer the ability to uniquely track mailings. In order to use a Full-Service Intelligent Mail Barcode, mailers need to make sure:

  • The IMb includes a unique serial number and is printed on all mail pieces
  • The Intelligent Mail tray label is included on trays and sacksThe Intelligent Mail pallet placard is included on pallets
  • All postal paperwork is submitted electronically

Learn more about the IMb and what you need to do to prepare for the switch.