Saturday 22nd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Motorola helps TNT deliver

TNT Express has been using barcode technology since the 80s. It also has voice-enabled equipment, and GSM-enabled mobile computers. But it wanted to further improve its efficiency by freeing workers’ hands from parts of the scanning procedure and updating the mobile computers in the truck / van drivers’ cabs and main depots.

TNT’s David Higgins, says there are no contract terms in the express parcel delivery, which results in a high customer churn. “How we interact with our customers and how we address people and keep them informed is critical to the survival and flourishing of our business.

“Track and trace is incredibly important to our customer relationships, and it’s imperative we stay at the forefront of the technology to keep our competitive advantage. On this premise, we needed to work with a vendor who would help us formulate a winning strategy, rather than just selling us scanners.”

The company has implemented 2,750 Motorola MC9000 mobile computer devices for its UK van drivers, expanding to 8,500 across EMEA. TNT’s UK Express Specialist Services delivery team chose 900 of the smaller, lighter MC70 devices.

TNT is also using 155 of Motorola’s WT4000 wearable scanners. These comprise 320g arm-mounted computers with keyboards, 2.8 displays, and ring-mounted scanners. This means operatives can scan items without using their hands.

The company is now looking to implement a further 800. It also uses Motorola’s “Service from the Start” maintenance and replacement service.

The result of the investment means drivers can now log onto the systems using the wireless network at their depot, then switching to the GPRS network when on the road using the MC9000’s built-in wireless LAN and WAN capabilities. The free text message facility on the device means they can check and correct address problems while on the road, which reduces the return rate of undelivered parcels.

The wearable mobile computer has reduced the vehicle load times by up to 30 per cent. But the technology has also had a positive effect on TNT’s workforce. “The drivers are now able to send and receive information on the move, so that if they finish their deliveries early, they can receive new instructions via the handsets, which means they can increase their earnings, says Higgins.