Telstra has won a $71 million contract with Australia Post to provide 26,000 handheld scanners for a new post tracking service.
The machine-to-machine (M2M) scanners by Motorola will let Australia Post and customers track the progress of every parcel in in real time. This level of delivery tracking was not previously available.
“The scanners can track barcoded articles as they travel through our network including traditional barcodes (1D) and the new generation 2D or QR style,” an Australia Post spokesperson told Computerworld Australia.
Australia Post previously used older generation Motorola scanners that primarily scanned one dimensional barcodes, she said.
Postal workers will scan parcel at key events in the delivery, including lodgement, receipt and customer acceptance. “The data is stored against that barcode to track when and where each event occurs,” she said.
“These devices also have additional capability [and] features beyond scanning which we will take advantage of in the future.”
Besides enhancing tracking capabilities, the new scanners could speed up deliveries, the Australia Post spokesperson said.
“Electronic scanning streamlines the process so it is more efficient, but mostly it is about greater tracking capability.”
In addition to the scanners, Telstra will provide a locally based secure cloud service, managed IP network and unified communications. That includes access to the Telstra NextG and NextIP networks, security and application assured networking.
Telstra was already providing cloud services to Australia Post to support the postal service’s Digital MailBox.
“With the huge surge in online retailers and eCommerce based industries it’s never been more important to have a service of this kind in place,” Paul Geason, Telstra group managing director of enterprise and government, said in a statement.
“We think this technology will help Australia Post adapt and evolve to meet the demands of consumers well into the future.”
The scanners will also enable more parcel deliveries by bike, according to Telstra. "The scanners will be used by all posties and couriers and will see posties on bikes delivering small parcels for the first time.”
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