How to track parcels in real time to boost performance and minimize lost goods

By Prama Hikvision India

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For logistics providers that pack, quality check, and deliver thousands of parcels every day, supply chain monitoring and security can be a major challenge. Fortunately, digital solutions now exist that create an end-to-end audit trail for every single parcel passing through your facility – helping you minimize lost goods and to meet your delivery Service Level Agreements (SLAs).  

Since e-commerce has steadily been on the rise globally in recent years, many people prefer not to visit physical stores as usual, leading to a major boom in online shopping and home parcel delivery.

This means there are unprecedented opportunities for e-commerce and logistics companies to expand their businesses and grow their revenues. However, success depends on increasing performance and throughput, while also tracking and securing thousands of parcels a day as they head towards end-customers’ addresses.

Why manual processes make parcel tracking harder

For many logistics companies, the sheer volume of goods passing through distribution and fulfillment centers creates major challenges for tracking and securing parcels effectively. This is especially the case during manual steps in the parcel delivery process, such as opening boxes to conduct quality control checks, and packing parcels for delivery to customers’ addresses.

This is because manual processes inevitably introduce an element of risk into the parcel delivery process. Errors can occur, for example, leading to lost or mis-directed parcels. Additionally, manual interventions in the supply chain may increase the risk of lost inventory, especially where effective monitoring systems and processes are absent.

The question for logistics providers processing thousands – or even tens of thousands – of parcels a day, is how to minimize the risk of errors and loss of goods across the entire, end-to-end delivery process.

Track each and every one of your parcels with digital technology

Using a combination of digital technologies, it’s now possible to monitor goods as they flow through your facility in real time. In particular, smart video cameras can be connected to barcode scanners, allowing you to understand exactly where goods and parcels are located, and how they are moving through your facility.

By cross referencing data from cameras and scanners, you can quickly access footage of incidents, such as goods that are dropped or damaged. In the same way, you can identify goods that were damaged before they reached you, proving that your teams were not responsible for breakages.

The value of an end-to-end audit trail

By creating an end-to-end audit trail for every parcel, this kind of solution allows you to monitor your performance on an ongoing basis, and to make operational improvements that increase your productivity and throughput. Equally importantly, you can also find out exactly what happened to goods that are lost or stolen from your supply chain and take immediate action if required.

If goods are lost, for example, you can quickly cross reference time and date information from barcode scanners with video footage recorded by security cameras. You can then see exactly what happened, giving you clear evidence for later use.

Many times, of course, mistakes and issues are innocent, such as parcels stuck in joins between conveyer belts. However, with digital, end-to-end parcel tracking, these kinds of events are also fast and easy to spot, ensuring that you can meet your delivery SLAs.

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