The work of the Postal & Logistics Technology Research Department of ETRI is focused on conducting research into logistics and postal service technologies, which together constitute one of the national infrastructures, such as the informatization and automation of postal processes, as well as on devising strategies for the development of postal technology. As such, it plays a central role in the postal industry.
The department has made particularly outstanding contributions to strengthening the competitiveness of the postal service based on productivity innovation of the postal logistics system and the formulation of strategies for green logistics and core technologies, in order to apply convergence technologies including telematics, RFID, and robotics to postal and logistics operations and thereby provide the most advanced postal and logistics services.
Real-time based practical postal technologies are being aggregated to bring the public a faster and more reliable postal service in the near future.
The department is composed of 3 teams, with 40 specialists in the logistics and postal service areas.
To conform to the mainstream of international postal policy and market trends, the department establishes the national policy of postal technology development and extracts the R&D items necessary for the advanced green logistics system, based on the emerging IT convergence technology.
Logistics and postal businesses call for such technologies as sophisticated information technology, automation technology, and logistics operation technology. The development of new services through the convergence of these technologies has triggered a rapid change in the business process.
So far, the delivery sequencing system - featuring pattern recognition of Korean characters, the registered mail sorting system, the national mail delivery network planning system, and the real-time LCM (Logistics Chain Management) collaboration system have been developed and deployed in the field.
The second phase of the R&D project has been launched to develop real-time postal service technology and to establish a postal technology development strategy needed in the market for the future post office. Its main objectives are the development of customer interface improvement technology, real-time postal logistics operation technology, practical postal RFID technology, and postal automation network technology. Among the departments most outstanding accomplishments are the automatic bulk mail acceptance system, the information registration system for door-to-door parcel acceptance, the real-time postal logistics planning engine, cost evaluation system for logistics business, the RFID system for roll cages in mail centers, and the integrated address coding system.
Also, in line with research paradigms involving the convergence of technologies, the department has designed a road map for the application of the relevant innovative technologies - such as telematics and u-computing technology - to postal and logistics fields, and is currently developing key fundamental technologies.
The major research topics of the center can be classified into 4 categories.
Real-time postal logistics technology is being developed under the mid- and long-term postal technology development plan. This projects ranges from real-time postal logistics infrastructure to frontline operation technology. As to future plans by field, in the customer interface improvement technology field, an automatic bulk mail acceptance system is being developed and test operated, and the technology will ultimately be transferred to post offices for frontline application. Based on various business models developed from Internet-based postal services, projects to build and commercialize the relevant postal business systems will be conducted.
In the field of postal logistics process technology, the RFID system for roll cages proved itself capable of 100% recognition performance in the mail sorting center, and demonstrated its frontline applicability in a test operation conducted at the Daejeon mail sorting center. Moreover, the proposed solution is being operated in the 30 mail sorting centers / logistics centers. Currently, research of the department is forcing on applying RFID technology to parcel logistics.
In the field of real-time postal logistics operation technology,postal logistics network design technology and system is being developed to simulate postal logistics infrastructure load and to formulate and evaluate countermeasures. In the future, a system - targeting 30 mail sorting centers / logistics centers nationwide - will be built to support real-time operation.
In the area of postal automation network technology, the department is busy working on installing an integrated automatic mail processing system on the letter sorting machine (LSM), and evaluating its performance, as well as striving to advance Korean address interpretation technology and conducting a compatibility study of the new postal code structure. In the future, the department will develop advanced automation technology through the integrated network for automation and application technology.
The department is developing a highly efficient postal logistics process by linking new convergence technology to the traditional postal business. For instance, by linking elements of convergence technology such as telematics and u-computing to the traditional business, the department is preparing green logistics and future-oriented postal services, and is continuing with its commercialization activities in order to apply to the developed technology to the postal field.