once upon a time a thousand life-times ago I participated in a project to select a “sorting system” for flat and small packages.
as part of that, I toured the Fedex Memphis facility. a dinner of dry ribs followed by a night-time tour of thousands of planes landing + sorting hundreds of thousands of packages + thousands of planes taking off.
it is amazing - like don’t go dissing what they do every night because it is flat out amazing.
up until the last decade or so, USPS probably did a better job at not smashing things to bits than Fedex/UPS/etc - but only because USPS was still stuck in the 18th century of sorting everything by hand. but keep in mind of my post - USPS and “military mail” are not the same thing.
the other delivery services moved into automation a lot faster than USPS. which has/had it’s ups and downs. I have personally seen the packages from inbound aircraft dumped on a conveyor which had “diverter” arms to allocate packages to the ‘first sorting station’ - which is basically a manual station to orient the package “label side up.”
I have personally witnessed “jams” on the primary infeed conveyors resulting in the diverting arms bashing and smashing packages to bits. all of this automation works on the theory “they” can afford to pay for a minor percentage of smashed up stuff due to “automation” reducing costs.
USPS is moving into automation - the old BMC (Bulk Mailing Centers) have been transformed into spiffy new joints with automated sorting machines and procedures. the spiffy new manager would prefer to have WestPack/bins of mail sorted by the “shipper” by “sorting line” - they hate hate hate to deal with bags and bags and bags of zip five or zip two - they have to be opened, dumped by hand, etc. etc. vs a tote dumping system - - - but…of course the “law” is the “law” and even with Plant Verified shipping, we’re still stuck doing things ala 18th century.
perhaps one day all the Regional Post Masters will die and the regulations / laws can be overhauled. but meanwhile, not all of the advantages/benefits of “ye new modern technology” is accepted by USPS. yes, Virgina, the problem is Congress - the stuff is controlled by law, not common sense…