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Top 3 Findings from the Package Fulfillment, Logistics and Delivery Expo: North America

pfld-bannerThe leading global event for the world’s parcel delivery, e-commerce logistics and postal industries has branched out to North America. Package Fulfillment, Logistics and Delivery Expo was the first end-to-end expo for the e-commerce and parcel industry in the United States, covering everything from package fulfillment all the way through to final delivery and returns. After two days of discussions with industry leaders, we broke down our top three key findings below. 

1. The mess of reverse logistics 

As indicated in the name, reverse logistics is the backwards movement of goods from their final destination back to the supplier. This presents a challenge from consumer to manufacturer and everywhere in between. US consumers returned about $185 billion worth of goods purchased between November 1 and December 24, 2021, a 56% increase year-on-year. (Source National Retail Federation). The Reverse Logistics Association (RLA) reported increases in the cost of returns was due to higher freight costs, higher labor costs and overall inflation pressures.  

Booth visitors were quick to share their frustrations when dealing with returns, stating “reverse logistics is a sloppy mess for us,” and “the current state of returns is still in its inefficient infancy.” On top of this, attendees stated that “the boxes we receive [returns in] are a mess.  I’m not surprised anymore to see duct tape wrapped around and barely holding the contents. It’s not pristine like we receive from the manufacturer that’s for sure.” This unpredictability is yet another cause for concern. 

2. Time to retire the tape measure 

The tape measure is ready for retirement in the package fulfillment, logistics and delivery space. The process of using a tape measure and manually recording the dimensions is highly prone to errors, both in measuring and recording. Industry leaders voiced concerns on throughput accuracy and inefficiencies, which negatively impact the success of an organization. “I’m trying to take the tape measure out of the process because of the human errors to enter the accurate measurements into the system,” said one attendee.  

Ask yourself, “If a worker measures a package with a tape measure and the measurements are wrong in the system, did they measure incorrectly or enter the measurements incorrectly?” The end result remains the same, inaccurate data wreaks havoc on the entire system.  

3. Small devices and big hands do not mix 

Handheld devices are great. They’re small, you can carry them around and they’re impressive for completing single tasks. The challenge occurs when information needs to be entered into the device, presenting the opportunity for data accuracy errors. One attendee shared, “I constantly hit two keys at once on those small handheld devices.” Others expressed frustrations with the ergonomics of the solutions, stating, “our current scan handle is very front heavy and not balanced.”  

Didn’t get a chance to connect with us at the show? Contact MobileDemand to learn more about our productivity enhancing solutions like xDIM Mobile Dimensioning.