Not a Game: The Role of Augmented Reality in Last Mile Logistics

The Last Mile is the most important step in any supply chain; it’s the final journey packages and parcels take from their transportation hub to the prescribed recipient. Successful Last Mile delivery requires careful coordination across your entire workforce to ensure optimal efficiency and customer satisfaction. Fortunately, with the help of augmented reality (AR) technology, your enterprise can fully mobilize its Last Mile logistics efforts—paving the way for superior business results.

At Scandit, we empower today’s enterprises with mobile computer vision solutions that reduce TCO and drive productivity. Our innovative products turn modern smart devices into enterprise-grade data capture tools with augmented reality functionality, enabling faster and more reliable Last Mile fulfillment. Today, we’ll be walking you through how your enterprise can leverage augmented reality to streamline its Last Mile logistics initiatives.

What Is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a technology that uses camera-equipped devices to merge computer-generated assets with real-world environments. These assets might take the form of simple text notifications, advanced assembly instructions, animations and everything in between. As you can imagine, augmented reality bears potential across almost every industry imaginable—from retail and healthcare to manufacturing. From a Post and Parcel perspective, the core purpose of AR technology is to highlight important delivery information for staff and simplify workflows across all three phases of the Last Mile.

How AR-Enabled Smart Devices Support Last Mile Delivery

By using camera-equipped smart devices (such as smartphones, tablets or wearable devices) with AR capabilities, Last Mile delivery staff can scan multiple package barcodes in seconds—and use AR to gain powerful insights into their delivery details via on-screen displays. AR overlays may include details on time-sensitive packages, updates on deliveries, special delivery requirements and more, fostering more reliable and coordinated logistics.

Your Post and Parcel enterprise can use computer vision-enabled smart devices with AR support to slash operating costs and increase the flexibility of its processes, providing you with a more intuitive and cost-efficient alternative to traditional barcode scanning hardware. AR in logistics and advanced mobile data capture technology bring value to all three phases of Last Mile delivery, driving higher customer satisfaction and successful Last Mile fulfillment. Let’s walk through all three phases to give you a better idea of how AR-enabled smart devices can improve processes in your enterprise.

1. The Distribution Center

The distribution center is where packages and parcels are organized and loaded into specific vehicles for transportation to customers. This phase demands precise logistics to ensure that the right packages are strategically placed in the right delivery vehicles. With the help of AR-enabled smart devices, distribution center staff can process multiple barcodes at once to pick out the correct packages and load them onto the correct van. Delivery drivers can also harness these solutions to quickly load their vehicles based on delivery zones during this phase, encouraging more productive operations during Point of Delivery.

2. Point of Delivery

Point of Delivery is the moment when a parcel reaches its final destination. This phase requires fast, precise workflows to ensure the right packages are delivered at the proper times. AR-enabled smart devices act as an all-in-one technology solution for delivery staff, allowing them to scan multiple parcels to find specific packages in the vehicle, stay updated on delivery changes or special instructions, and capture proof of delivery electronically. Dispatchers can also use smart devices to plan itineraries, track packages and find optimal delivery routes on the fly to enable more cost-effective workflows.

3. Pickup & Dropoff (PUDO)

Pickup & Dropoff processes give customers the flexibility to collect ordered packages at specific locations like local outlets or lockers. Logistical challenges for PUDO include coordinating efforts between delivery drivers and third-party pickup locations to guarantee customers receive their packages quickly. AR-enabled smart devices allow delivery drivers to identify the correct parcels effortlessly via AR feedback and overlays, vastly simplifying PUDO operations and improving Last Mile fulfillment. These technology solutions can even be used to help sort parcels, making it easy for staff and temporary employees to sort out undelivered packages.

AR from Scandit for Last Mile Delivery Optimization

Now that you have a better understanding of augmented reality in global logistics and how it applies to Post and Parcel workflows, let’s discuss specific AR functionality your enterprise can use to refine its Last Mile delivery process. Scandit’s Barcode SDK Scanner SDK is a revolutionary software solution for iOS, Android, Windows and other platforms that delivers enterprise-grade scanning capabilities to modern smart devices. SDK-powered smartphones, tablets and wearable devices can process damaged, blurry or poorly lit barcodes with ease, lending speed and reliability to your mobile data capture systems.

Thanks to the SDK’s MatrixScan feature, any camera-equipped device can locate, track and decode multiple barcodes simultaneously—optimizing the efficiency and convenience of your scanning operations. MatrixScan also enables augmented reality capabilities, enabling Post and Parcel staff to access superimposed parcel information to streamline and coordinate their Last Mile delivery workflows.

Optimize Your Last Mile Logistics With Scandit

If you’d like to learn more about how Scandit’s AR solutions can help your Post and Parcel enterprise sprint the Last Mile and enable better business results, then call or message us today. You can also connect with us for more information on augmented reality in global logistics and using AR to improve Last Mile fulfillment