The transportation industry is highly competitive. Often shippers have had to choose between partnering with a carrier that offered deep discounts or one that provided sophisticated tracking. That choice has been eliminated as consolidators and the United States Postal Service, who have long offered deep discounts, now have technology that tracks throughout the delivery life cycle.
In 2001, DDU Express, a consolidator partner with the U.S. Postal Service, designed its hub and spoke model for its ground package delivery operation. In the past year, DDU Express has continued its innovative progression with the development of Parcel Select routing technologies. A state-of-the-art, proprietary, user-friendly manifest and labeling program was designed to give the company a competitive edge, optimizing the consolidation and routing of parcels into the local post office for final delivery.
The key to the Parcel Select routing technologies and all of DDU Express� package consolidation and distribution operation is the Parcel Routing Detail (PRD). The PRD captures comprehensive information about a customer�s package that automated sorters will scan to serve DDU Express� customers most efficiently.
The Intelligent Label contains all the detailed information that DDU Express needs to know about a package in order to get it from Point A to B as requested by the customer. The Intelligent Label is U.S. Postal Service-compliant and contains DDU Express� internal consolidation routing to get packages to the post office that is nearest to the consignee�s ZIP Code. The Intelligent Label enables DDU Express to deliver its packages in a timely manner at the lowest possible cost.
In today�s demanding environment, businesses and consumers need to be able to trace their goods to their ultimate destinations. The Intelligent Label has a unique package tracking number that enables customers to track packages on DDU Express� or the U.S. Postal Service�s Web sites, providing complete visibility of packages as they move through the DDU Express system and ultimately into the Postal Service for final delivery.
DDU Express provides its customers with many options for providing the required labeling information. Customers can generate their own labels via a DDU Express-supplied manifesting and labeling program. DDU Express� IT team can also customize customers� shipping and labeling programs to meet its Intelligent Label standards. For others, DDU may generate original labels for the customers who download information directly to DDU Express or affix Intelligent Labels over the customer-provided labels.
To optimize the last mile in its delivery network, the PRD is uploaded into the Postal Service system before DDU Express drops packages at the local post office. Upon the Postal Service delivering packages, the proof of delivery is downloaded to the DDU Express system, thus both systems will allow for tracking. Parcels tracking is critical to customer supply chain management. Parcel Select routing technologies synchronize package information with DDU Express Manifest Management System so that customers have the latest parcel tracking information available.
As parcels enter DDU Express distribution centers, the Intelligent Label information is scanned automatically into DDU Express proprietary Manifest Management System. As parcels move further through DDU Express� national and regional sort center in Atlanta, Georgia, parcels will move through a state-of-the-art �Mantissa� tilt tray sorter that will scan and route according to the Intelligent Label and pass current parcel status information to DDU Express� Manifest Management System.
The U.S. Postal Service enjoys the many benefits of the Intelligent Label and the PRD information. The Postal Service relies on a clear and concise label that is easily scanned to maximize delivery efficiency that the Intelligent Label offers. The Postal Service letter carrier will scan parcels at acceptance in the local post office and at delivery to the consumer. The Postal Service utilizes handheld scanners to capture signature information that is downloaded into its system. This upgrade in their technology enables consolidators to provide value-added services such as delivery confirmation, which completes the seamless tracking from origin to delivery.
New parcel routing technologies within the consolidator industry enable those consolidators that invest in these technologies to be able to compete with the major package carriers. Customers can now have peace of mind because they do not have to sacrifice value-added services and visibility of shipments for deep discounts offered by the parcel consolidator industry.
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