The global postal industry requires a properly operated and managed cross-border supply chain. Industry players exchange massive amounts of data via EDI, which are stored in the IPC central database. In order to leverage these EDI exchanges, a system is needed that provides not only reports but also comprehensive support to postal experts, within and beyond IPC membership.

CAPE is that system. CAPE harnesses the potential of EDI by combining the information stored in a unique centralised data hub with operational and technical expertise to deliver a standardised solution to the postal industry.

How does it work?

Through the CAPE system, IPC provides the essential performance and operational analysis reports for all  international postal products, and for industry groups such as INTERCONNECT, EPG, EMS Cooperative, and PRIME. CAPE is a robust platform, supporting all relevant industry-standard communication protocols,comprised of integrated systems dedicated to the reception, acknowledgement of reception, storage,transformation, monitoring and distribution of information received from external parties. Client systems such as the Global Customer Service System (GCSS), Single Tool for Online Reporting and Monitoring (STORM), and Item Monitoring (IM) are also connected to CAPE.

The EDI messages handled by CAPE pertain to the various operational, financial, processing, transport,quality, and security-related aspects of international mail.

An individual letter, packet, or parcel is inducted into the postal network, where it is processed and nested to (placed in/assigned to) a receptacle. The receptacle is then nested in a Unit Load Device or roll cage, which in turn is loaded in a truck or aircraft for transport. These several layers of physical nesting are reflected in the data provided through EDI messages which record the handling and processing “events” (where, when, and who) as the item passes all process points in the international mail pipeline. The data provision technology for these events is mainly barcode data capture, but also includes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reads for items, receptacles, and vehicles carrying RFID tags. CAPE stores all these EDI messages, which contain the source data for a large set of reports.

Benefits

Postal staff from different operational areas can use CAPE reports to achieve:

  • Enhanced operational management through processing of inbound and outbound mail at International Mail Processing Centres (IMPCs) including operational resource planning
  • Improved transport service performance through monitoring and analysing performance levels international mail transported by air, road, and sea
  • Robust asset management through operation of the IPC Tray, IPC Bag, and IPC Pallet Box Pools at IMPCs and at IPC
  • Efficient network oversight and control through operation of the IPC Sprinter Network for road transport of priority mail
  • Optimised messaging for complete product support by ensuring data availability, quality, and completeness
  • Acquisition and retention of certification through monitoring compliance with the requirements for the IPC Certificate of Excellence in the Management and Processing of International Priority Products
  • Successful implementation of quality improvement plans through assessment by the IPC Performance Centre of compliance with agreed targets
  • Detailed track and trace through analysis of end-to-end transit time for individual barcoded mail items
  • Accurate invoicing through settlement of accounts

CAPE also provides tailored services for airline and ground handling staff at airports in support of the IPC Future of Mail by Air (FoMbA) initiative. The handover time between airline and post is recorded by the IPC Mail Registration Device (MRD) located at the handover point at the airport. These devices are connected and transmit handover messages to the central CAPE system.

IPC CAPE Help Desk

The IPC CAPE Help Desk provides technical support and advice to all parties exchanging EDI messages: posts, airlines, and other stakeholders such as border agencies. The CAPE Help Desk monitors the compliance of EDI messages with UPU Standards and with the data content rules specified by the different industry groups. The CAPE Help Desk is the interface with the EDI network service providers, and manages EDI mailbox set-up and maintenance.

More information

To find out more about CAPE, please contact helpdesk@ipc.be