USPS Awards Large Contract to FKI

Sept. 1, 2004
FKI Logistex, a global leader in integrated material handling solutions, has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $24 million for a bulk- and tray-mail

FKI Logistex, a global leader in integrated material handling solutions, has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $24 million for a bulk- and tray-mail sorting and distribution system at the United States Postal Service (USPS: International Service Center located at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, N.Y.

The sorting and distribution system will be the largest single-site material handling project that the United States Postal Service has implemented in recent years and is part of an extensive operational upgrade at the center. The project includes major renovation and expansion of the facility's tray-line transport system and development of an airline receiving concourse, which will improve the efficiency of receipt and unloading of mail from commercial airline carriers. To allow the center to continue to operate during the installation, the FKI Logistex project will be implemented in phases.

The mail system upgrade is a critical project for the USPS that will allow it to efficiently process the large volume of domestic and international mail the JFK center handles.

The largest portion of the project is an upgrade of the center's tray-line transport system. A multi-floor network of conveyors that ties a number of postal operations together, the system receives letter mail from the airline receiving concourse and from other postal sorting and processing operations within the center. The incoming letter trays and tubs are then transported, sorted and ultimately routed to dispatch operations.

The upgrade will include installation of 7,200 feet of Accuzone motorized roller conveyor. The conveyor easily starts and stops packages and eliminates package sliding. It offers conveying rates up to 30 cartons per minute and handles cartons weighing up to 75 pounds.

FKI Logistex will also integrate 46 turntable diverters and 54 motorized powered spiral conveyors from Carter Control Systems ( The turntable diverters will act as splits, diverting trays and tubs in one of two directions. The roller spirals will move trays and tubs from elevation to elevation and will provide buffering for the system.

The second portion of the project covers development of a more efficient airline receiving concourse operation. There, mail arriving via commercial airline carriers is brought from the planes by tugs into the center's receiving system area. The mail, consisting of parcels, bulk mail in sacks, and letters in trays or tubs, is then manually unloaded onto feed conveyors, which transport it throughout the service center.

FKI Logistex will outfit the concourse with approximately 2,000 feet of postal bulk mail infeed belt conveyor and 1,000 feet of Accuzone motorized roller conveyor for transport and staging. The conveyor in both parts of the JFK project will be specifically designed and manufactured to meet USPS standards.

The concourse project also features a mail package receipt verification system that will be installed and integrated with existing USPS information systems. Using bar code scanning, the system will enable the USPS to acknowledge the receipt of packages from the airlines at the concourse.

The project, currently in the engineering stage, will be turnkey. FKI Logistex will provide all engineering, installation, training and support. Work is scheduled to begin in the field in October 2004 and to be commissioned by January 2006.

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