Shipping and Mailing | Pitney Bowes

Meeting ecommerce growth opportunities with automated parcel sortation

Learn how organizations are using automation to sort and manage outgoing parcels due to growth in ecommerce.

Throughout Europe and many other regions, parcel delivery has seen enormous growth, primarily as a result of the boom in ecommerce. Certainly, this has been a positive development for customers who have much greater access to the products they want to buy. But for many online merchants and delivery services, the increase in parcel volume presents significant challenges.

How do you get all these parcels sorted to the correct destinations, both quickly and efficiently? If your organization is experiencing increased demand for delivered products, it may be time to consider automation to sort and manage your outgoing parcels. The trends suggest that demand for quickly delivered goods will continue to rise, and in such a competitive market, it’s critical to future success that you ensure your business is offering top-notch, value-added delivery processing services.

Ecommerce is a huge growth area. Businesses have a prime opportunity to sell to this eager market of online customers. Given that all of these purchases must be delivered physically, it’s imperative for retailers and carriers to look at their entire parcel delivery system to find ways to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and meet clients’ service agreements and expectations.

Automated parcel sortation

Delivering a larger number of products naturally requires more mailroom resources. As volumes increase, labor costs continue to increase. It puts you in a less competitive position in a market where people are looking for a combination of service and price. So, the more you can automate, the more you can achieve efficiencies, reduce costs, and capture more market share.

Enterprise companies, private carriers, and national postal systems implement automated parcel sortation systems to manage growing volumes. Automated parcel sortation uses technology to do much of the processing that would be time-consuming and repetitive to do by hand.

For example, automated parcel sorting systems can weigh, measure, and certify parcels as they travel along conveyors, and the machines can print and apply labels to boxes and route them to the appropriate loading areas. Comprehensive parcel tracking is fully integrated with advanced software. Pitney Bowes’ automated parcel sorters use a common infrastructure that can be customized to the appropriate size of the parcels being sent, the delivery time specified by service agreements, the features required for specific types of parcels, and especially the volume of items the company processes.

The Pitney Bowes Automated Parcel Sorting systems are very modular, very flexible, and upgrades take less time and cost less money, based on the way we build our systems, and they are built to suit. It’s not a model that we force-fit into an operation; it’s based on your requirements and your potential for change or growth down the road. These systems can be designed to handle a throughput range from fewer than 1,000 items per hour to 14,000.

Future Innovations

Fast delivery is a priority for competitive merchants and carriers. Some websites already offer customers the opportunity to receive their items within hours. Certain retail carriers and shippers are partnering with some of these ecommerce e-tailers and distribution hubs, so if an order comes in at a certain point in the day, you can receive your product that day. These companies are looking to stand out and entice customers.

As ecommerce continues to grow, additional delivery options will increase. Customers will be able to receive more orders the same day, or pick up items at electronically operated locker boxes in front of their homes or at a central location. These “intelligent lockers” are already popular in regions including Germany, Norway, Poland, and parts of Asia, with emerging growth in the United Kingdom. Customers will be able to do precise tracking and tracing, or easily re-route parcels during shipment, because automated sortation allows these computerized capabilities. In addition, further innovations could be incorporated into current automated sorting systems due to their modular design.

Increased demand for parcel delivery translates into tremendous business opportunities for savvy online merchants. But with growing success, it becomes increasingly important to implement parcel sortation technologies to efficiently manage deliveries. Automated parcel sortation gives businesses the capabilities to merge physical and digital solutions to compete in an online retail marketplace.

Related Technology

Parcel Sortation Solutions

Flexible and modular. Parcel sorting and data capture solutions automate the manual sorting process.

Learn More