Intelligent Mail barcode (sometimes abbreviated as USPS4CB or 4CB) is a 65-bar code for use on mail in the United States. The term “Intelligent Mail” refers to services offered by the Postal Service for domestic mail delivery. (IM®) is intended to provide greater information and functionality than its predecessors like POSTNET. Intelligent Mail® barcode has also been referred to as One Code Solution and 4-State Customer Barcode abbreviated 4CB ,4-CB or USPS4CB. The complete specification can be found in USPS Document USPS-B-3200E. It effectively incorporates the routing ZIP code and tracking information included in previously used postal barcode standards.
The Intelligent Mail initiative announced by the US Postal Service in 2003 will be required starting in fall of 2009 for mailers to receive the maximum USPS automation discounts. Some of the benefits include improved deliver-ability, new services and increased overall efficiency.
The Intelligent Mail barcode is a height-modulated barcode that encodes up to 31 decimal digits of mail-piece data into 65 vertical bars.
The code is made up of four distinct symbols, which is why this barcode was once referred to as the 4-State Customer Barcode. Each bar contains the central "tracker" portion, and may contain an ascender, descender, neither, or both (a "full bar"). In total, the new barcode will carry a data payload of 31 digits representing the following elements:
Service type identifier
|Index of first digit||Length||Name|
|3||3||Service type identifier|
|6||6 or 9||Mailer ID|
|12 or 15||9 or 6||Sequence number|
|21||11||Delivery point ZIP code|
Delivery point ZIP code
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