What is the significance of QR codes on envelopes of couriered posts?

Drsunil V September 27, 2013
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What is the significance of QR codes on envelopes of couriered posts? What information can be retrieved from the codes? and how can the information be retrieved as qr apps fail to return any information after reading the code on envelope?

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  1. Bill G
    September 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The codes are there primarily to aid in routing and tracking. Packages are placed on conveyor belts and automatically routed to the proper bays as their codes are scanned.

    You can read several of these with a handheld reader and/or mobile device. They contain tracking numbers and address info -- it's right there in plain text once the code is decoded.

    As far as I know the USPS codes do the same, but they are encrypted and will not provide anything useful without USPS software.

  2. Hovsep A
    September 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    WD2000: How to Read Postal Bar Codes
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/214181

    • Drsunil V
      September 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks. But the link is not waht is asked. The link is to determine whether Microsoft Word created a correct postal bar code.

  3. Min S
    September 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Indeed, these differ from the QR codes normally aimed at mobile apps and have existed quite before the QR codes containing web links were out.

  4. Guy M
    September 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    They aren't exactly a Quick Response (QR) code. They are 2 dimensional barcodes used for package tracking.

    2 dimensional barcodes can encode a few thousand characters. There are a few different standards for these codes. It is possible to get the right software to read these codes, but the information in them is probably just going to be an address or something else mundane.

    • Drsunil V
      September 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Can you please specify the software to know it's tracking information? how can the information be retrieved as qr apps fail to return any information after reading the code on envelope?

    • Jan F
      September 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      There is no global standard for postal barcodes therefor it is unlikely that you'll find a barcode reader that will 'always' give you all the information.

      While most of them look the same e.g. barcodes from UPS are differently interpreted as barcodes from TNT. Equally they'd also be different from the codes used by DHL or FedEx.

      All of these barcodes give you a string of numbers however each of this shipment services have a different internal identification system.

      Barcodes from the US Mail Service will differ from the UK Postal Service etc.

    • Guy M
      September 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      First you need to figure out exactly what standard was used to create the code. Then you can start searching for software that can interpret that standard.

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