DPD Russia, one of the leading courier & express delivery providers in Russia, offers delivery services to 20,000 locations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and around the globe. The company delivers more than 100,000 parcels a day both directly to consumers and to a system of more than 2,000 pickup points.
Mobile computer vision-enabled smart devices deliver superior scanning speed and accuracy over open source options.
Scandit technology-powered mobile apps enable employees to track the movement and precise location of parcels throughout the delivery process.
Scandit computer vision runs on mobile devices that couriers provide themselves rather than relying on legacy handheld devices provided by the company.
Given the volume and complexity of its daily delivery activities, DPD Russia needs a reliable, efficient means of tracking packages from distribution centers to final destinations. For a roughly three-year period, the company (then operating as a subsidiary of GeoPost) had provided its drivers with an Android smartphone app built on the Zebra Crossing open source mobile barcode scanning platform. This allowed them to scan the barcodes of parcels at several key points in the “Last Mile” of the delivery process to verify location and status of packages.
While the Zebra Crossing barcode scanning solution enabled DPD Russia to streamline key post and parcel workflows such as picking up packages in the delivery terminal for placement in vehicles and verifying proof of delivery, the company found some shortcomings.
The open source platform did not offer the desired speed of scanning. In addition, DPD Russia found some quality issues in scan accuracy. The company determined that an Android smartphone courier app with barcode scanning capability would be the best solution for parcel tracking, but decided to investigate other mobile data capture engines.
DPD Russia began investigating alternate mobile data capture engines in 2017. During its research process, the company discovered the Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK. Impressed with the Scandit solution’s speed, accuracy, and ability to read even blurry and damaged codes in poor lighting and at difficult angles, DPD Russia launched an initial 1,000-device pilot of a courier app integrated with the Barcode Scanner SDK in January 2018.
With the heightened scan speed and accuracy provided by Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK, DPD Russia has achieved genuine real-time transparency in tracking the movement and precise location of parcels throughout the delivery process.
Drivers initially scan parcel barcodes in the delivery terminal to verify that the correct packages are placed into the correct vehicles. Parcels are then scanned for proof of delivery when they are dropped off at either a client’s home or business or at a designated pickup point. This ensures parcels are included in the correct shipments and reach their proper destinations.
In addition, couriers scan parcels they pick up from clients who are making returns, ensuring the accuracy of the return process. At the end of the workday, drivers can also scan any stray parcels that are still in the terminal and have not been delivered to or picked up by a client. This allows timely verification and resolution of any missed or erroneous deliveries.
Looking ahead, DPD Russia plans to expand its deployment of Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK to more drivers and also to use Scandit’s unique augmented reality feedback functionality. This will allow drivers to capture data about parcels with a scan and then graphically display it in the camera screen of driver devices. DPD Russia is also applying a full bring your own device (BYOD) approach to scanning, meaning couriers will use their own smartphones instead of legacy handheld devices provided by the company. BYOD eliminates high overhead and maintenance costs associated with dedicated scanning hardware.