Royal Mail deploy 2D bar codes at Post Offices

Royal Mail 2D LabelRoyal Mail have announced the launch of 2D barcoding of parcels at Post Office branches. Nearly three quarters of the Post Office network – around 8,000 of the 11,500 total Post Office branches – are now using Royal Mail 2D barcodes. The remaining Post Office branches are due to adopt Royal Mail’s 2D barcodes in early 2016.

SMEs, micro businesses and consumers sending items at participating Post Office branches will now have a 2D barcode applied to all UK and international Royal Mail parcels and Large Letters where postage is purchased in branch.

The launch of 2D barcodes at the Post Office will further boost the number of barcoded parcels in Royal Mail’s network. Many of the UK’s largest retailers and most significant parcel senders have already moved to the new 2D barcoded labels. Today’s announcement follows the launch of 2D barcoding on Click & Drop and Online Postage, Royal Mail’s online postage and labelling tools.

The data-rich 2D barcodes are integral to Royal Mail’s plans to scan significantly more parcels from 2016 to provide greater visibility and efficiency in its network, and power future service enhancements. Royal Mail is also exploring the best way for customers, both sending and receiving, to access this information.

Royal Mail Finger ScannerThe launch of 2D barcoding with the Post Office follows the successful deployment of wearable ‘finger scanner’ technology, which has been introduced to Royal Mail regional distribution centres and mail centres for the first time.

The 3,000 state-of-the-art finger scanner devices are now being used by Royal Mail staff in regional distribution centres and mail centres to scan barcoded parcels. Finger scanners are worn over the hand and enable colleagues to scan 2D barcodes on parcels as they are manually sorted. The digitally-enabled finger scanners connect to the Postal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices carried by Royal Mail colleagues in regional distribution centres and mail centres.

Nick Landon, Managing Director, Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Our partnership with the Post Office is a critical part of our transformation. Barcoded labels will improve our ability to manage parcels effectively and ultimately improve the service both Royal Mail and Post Office can provide our customers”.

For casual eBay sellers who still ship at the Post Office, it should mean a lower incidence of “lost” parcels. Royal Mail will definitively know at which point in their network a parcel was last scanned and if it was “lost” and a claim should be paid, or if it was delivered and the recipient simply “can’t find it” and needs to ask their husband/wife/children where they’ve hidden their parcel.