Posten Sverige AB, with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, is a public-owned limited liability company and one of the largest companies in the country, with around 45,000 employees. The Business Parcel Service, in particular, ships parcels overnight to be delivered no later than 4 PM the next day anywhere in Sweden, with a few exceptions: the most northern parts of the country and the island of Gotland cannot be reached the next day by truck.
The parcel network at Posten employs 4,000 people and consists of eight sorting hubs, each equipped with the same concept of material handling equipment and data capture. There are two sorting depots, which handle a volume of 190,000 parcels per day, 24 hours a day, six days a week.
To keep up with market demand and face increasing competition, Posten Sverige decided to modernize its business parcel network, increase simplicity for customers and make business control and follow-up easier with smoother internal processes and quicker decision-making.
Therefore, Posten Sverige decided to replace all of its old DS350 stationary barcode readers from Datalogic at all of its parcel terminals throughout Sweden. As a result of the experience with the scanners, it was decided to update the parcel terminals with even newer scanners from Datalogic.
Readers Are Easy to Handle
The system with Business Parcels is nothing new to us, says H'kan Petersson at the postal terminal of Toftan's in Malm the very first terminal to use the new readers. We have worked this way for a long time now. Before, we also used readers from Datalogic that have functioned splendidly for a very long time. The reason we now are replacing the old ones is that it was high time for a modernization. The old scanners tended to be rather expensive to maintain and used old technology. The new DS6500s are smaller in size, and it is estimated that they will last longer as well. The conclusion is that our job of sorting and registering the parcels at our terminals will be made easier.
Posten Sverige was looking for a barcode reading system that could read labels passing on semiautomatic conveyors (in motion or still), with a large depth of field up to 35 inches and a large area (belt width 31 inches). The system should also be able to read a range of barcodes including Code 128, EAN128, Code 39 and 2/5 interleaved, with minimum need for orientation. For tracking purposes, the decoded barcodes must be transmitted as soon as possible. Finally, it was also important that the system be able to read codes omni-directionally. Hence, the 10 terminals have been equipped with the DS6500 with its new technology and smaller size that make the Swedish Post Office's handling of parcels much easier.
Barcodes Are Key
When a parcel is collected by the customer, it is already equipped with an address label, explains Hkan Petersson. No papers whatsoever, delivery notes and such, will follow the goods. When a parcel arrives at the terminal, we catch all of the needed information by reading the barcode on the address label. It is this first scanning that is so important. It is also this part of the procedure that Datalogic is helping us to handle. Through the barcode, we can find out who is paying, where to send the goods, what kind of service the customer has ordered and much more for instance, if the parcel should be paid on delivery, etc. At the terminal, the parcel is weighed and measured, and after that, we have all the information we need to invoice the customer. That is why it is so important that the information is properly read.
What we gain by this is, besides avoiding all the paperwork, the possibility to follow the parcel track and trace on the Internet. The customers that have a connection to Posten Sverige can get direct reports via the Internet.
As a result of the new system, Posten Sverige now benefits from higher throughput of parcels, higher quality of service and lower costs for service and repair. The modernization process continues, and in addition to new sorting terminals equipped with centralized CCD cameras for barcode reading and video coding, it is likely that 2D codes will also be implemented soon.
Mirta Tang works in Marketing & Communications for Datalogic, Inc. For more information or to contact Mirta, please email email@example.com or visit Datalogic on the Web at www.datalogic.com.