The Future of Post & Parcel and Smartphone-based Barcode Scanning

The world of Post & Parcel delivery is changing, thanks in large part to the coronavirus and social distancing. More and more shoppers are relying on e-commerce for essential purchases, including groceries and medical supplies. This sudden surge in online shopping orders has pushed Post & Parcel teams to increase their capacity, enforce new safety measures, and adopt creative strategies to ensure on-time, first time deliveries for customers.

At Scandit, we help Post & Parcel enterprises take time and cost out of their delivery processes using mobile computer vision. For example, our barcode scanning software powers apps for loading, sorting, parcel tracking, and delivering parcels more quickly and efficiently. Today, we’ll be reviewing how the Post & Parcel industry is evolving in the age of COVID-19, social distancing, and smartphone-based scanning.

The E-Commerce Surge

The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed shopping behaviors worldwide. As non-essential retail stores close their doors to encourage social distancing, shoppers have turned to e-commerce to secure many types of supplies. Moreover, the distressing nature of COVID-19 has increased instances of bulk-buying and stockpiling, particularly for hygiene products like toilet paper and disinfectants.

Shoppers are relying on e-commerce as a form of “retail therapy” during the pandemic as well. Ordering supplies straight to their doorstep makes customers feel more comfortable and prepared during this time of uncertainty. All of these factors contribute to the same end-result: a massive surge in e-commerce and demand for safe, on-time deliveries.

Today’s Post & Parcel businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver customer orders quickly, efficiently and contactlessly. This need has driven Post & Parcel enterprises to scale up their operations, onboard new and temporary staff, as well as invest in automation and other technologies to streamline delivery processes and cope with such drastic growth.

Mobile Computer Vision for Post & Parcel

Even before COVID-19, Post & Parcel companies have been pushing for more efficient and productive delivery to satisfy customers and boost their bottom line. One of the most effective tools to support these delivery processes is mobile computer vision. This innovative technology transforms basic, inexpensive smart devices into powerful scanning and augmented reality (AR) enabled tools—simplifying all three steps of Last Mile delivery:

1. Distribution Center Tasks

The Distribution Center is the foundation for every successful delivery. Warehouse staff need to accurately collect and load parcels into the correct vehicles to ensure efficient delivery. Typically, this is achieved with expensive barcode scanning hardware. Mobile computer vision-enabled smart devices offer the same scanning performance for a fraction of the cost—while allowing warehouse staff to locate, track and decode multiple barcodes at once. Smartphones are less expensive than dedicated scanners, so all warehouse employees can be equipped with an individual device, no need to share pool devices during this time of heightened health and safety concerns.

With Scandit MatrixScan, Distribution Center workers can capture an entire set of barcodes in a single scan sequence. This feature also includes AR overlays that make organizing, loading and managing parcels effortless. Scandit-powered apps can even be used to share real-time instructions for identifying and distributing packages on employee smartphones, improving efficiency while reducing errors.

2. At Point of Delivery

Point of Delivery is the final step of the Last Mile, and requires pinpoint coordination to ensure parcels reach customers at the correct time and place. That’s why Post & Parcel teams are relying on mobile computer vision solutions to streamline this crucial process. Fleet drivers equipped with computer vision-enabled smart devices can access GPS and info on dynamic navigation factors like weather to optimize navigation, supporting more accurate, on-time deliveries. And with Scandit’s MatrixScan, drivers can use their own smart device to scan multiple barcodes at once, identifying the correct packages for delivery in seconds.

Indeed, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategies are one of the most cost-effective ways for Post & Parcel businesses to meet the growing demand for efficient deliveries. Giving employees access to a scanning-enabled mobile app on their own device creates a familiar user experience that simplifies training and execution for Last Mile operations, including search & find. Download our free whitepaper on BYOD for Last Mile delivery to learn more about whether this strategy is the best choice for your enterprise.

Most importantly, delivery staff can use mobile computer vision tools to enable safe, contactless proof of delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Scandit recently deployed a free contactless proof of delivery web app to support our customers and communities. You can learn more about this solution (and see it in action) here.

3. Pickup and Dropoff (PUDO) Operations

Post & Parcel workers equipped with mobile scanning apps can quickly and easily identify packages, ensuring the right parcels reach the appropriate third-party pickup location. Similarly, employees at PUDO points can use Scandit-enabled apps on their own smart devices to quickly and accurately sort undelivered packages using AR overlays.

Mobile computer vision for PUDO significantly improves workforce efficiency, in part because smart devices are so intuitive for employees. Even new employees (or temporary workers with little to no experience) can use Scandit-powered PUDO apps to process incoming parcels simply and reliably.

Scandit Delivers Unmatched Performance

User studies show that mobile apps powered by Scandit scanning technology deliver top performance – on any device, under any condition, and with any barcode. Our software excels even in the toughest scanning conditions, allowing users to read even damaged or extremely small codes on their smart devices. Our omnidirectional scanning technology also makes it possible to scan from any angle effortlessly, providing a seamless, user-friendly tool for Post & Parcel staff.


Streamline Parcel Tracking & Delivery with Scandit

To stay competitive and cope with changing conditions, post, parcel and express businesses need to run their end-to-end delivery processes as efficiently as possible. And with the power of Scandit’s high-performance scanning software, your team can simplify loading, sorting, tracking and delivery tasks, in the last mile and every mile.

To learn more about the Scandit solution and how it can benefit your business, check out our free guide for Post & Parcel. This best practices guide will show you how smart devices equipped with computer vision and augmented reality (AR) can reduce costs and improve productivity during Last Mile delivery, adding value across the Distribution Center, Point of Delivery, and during Pickup & Dropoff (PUDO).

Contact our team for more information on what the future holds for Post & Parcel—and how your business can use mobile data capture tools to stay on top. We’re always here to help.