TNT speeds up with mobile technology

TNT, the parcel courier and mail company has made significant improvements to its delivery services with the rollout of mobile computers.

TNT Express UK, which is the carrier's largest division and its main business-to-business arm, has reduced vehicle loading time by 30 per cent and achieved on-time delivery rates of 98 per cent since rolling wearable computers and scanners out to its delivery drivers a year ago.

David Higgins of TNT said 'track and trace' is incredibly important to TNT's customer relationships. "It is imperative that we stay at the forefront of service technology to keep our competitive advantage," he said.

TNT Express looked to long-standing provider Motorola, to provide its MC9000 series for drivers to be able to operate the devices even when wearing gloves and has now implemented 2,750 devices for its UK van drivers, expanding to over 8,500 across the Europe, Middle East and Africa division. The UK TNT Express Specialist Services delivery team opted for 900 smaller, lighter MC70 devices.

TNT Express also wanted a scanner that left workers' hands free, to optimise productivity and vehicle loading time. As a result, TNT played an integral part in the beta testing of the WT4000 wearable scanner. It is currently using 155 of these wearable mobile computers in the UK and has plans to implement a further 800.

The new wearable mobile computers and scanners have increased worker productivity and load accuracy, while reducing vehicle loading time. Instead of checking a manifest on the vehicle itself, operatives can now see the status of the order simply by scanning the package and consulting the wearable mobile computer. Using the wearable mobile computer has reduced the time taken to load vans and trucks by up to 30 per cent, while delivery accuracy is running at 98 per cent.Higgins added: "Although the net effect on efficiency per parcel may seem small, getting each van out of the warehouse ten minutes earlier, each shift on each day, has a huge effect on the business efficiency and means that we can deliver more parcels and maintain a high level of service performance through a premium on time delivery."

TNT is now planning to implement further wearable mobile computers and MC9000s worldwide and is currently investigating how the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can help its business.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.