Now in its ninth year, the Postal and Parcel Technology International Awards continue to attract high-quality nominations and showcase the of the postal and parcel industry. More new products, technologies, projects and solutions were nominated than ever before by our readers in posts, parcel companies and their suppliers. Their diversity and inventiveness proved a tough task to shortlist. It was an even tougher task for our panel of judges to select winners.
The strength of the entries in the seven categories shows a willingness to embrace new technologies and working practices at a time when the demands placed on posts and parcel carriers are unprecedented. The pace of change in the industry means posts have to be not only excellent operationally, but also able to innovate strategically to adopt and adapt to new trends and technologies. These qualities, alongside an aim to put the customer first, were common to all shortlisted posts and carriers in our Service Provider of the Year category. They were also consistent among the shortlisted nominations in our Supplier of the Year category. More than ever, it would seem leading suppliers view their customers as partners in an endeavor to deliver efficient and effective postal and parcel services to the end-consumer.
There were impressive products nominated across all categories. In the areas unique to the industry, Delivery Innovation of the Year and Sorting Center Innovation of the Year, the influence of wider technological developments, such as the Internet of Things, increased computing power and more complex software, as well as incremental improvements to the mechanical systems and equipment at the core of the sector, were clear to see.
Meanwhile, in other categories, such as Environmental Achievement of the Year, Digital Innovation of the Year and New Business Diversification of the Year, the postal sector shares challenges common to many other business areas. Across these categories, there were many examples of excellent applications that show postal and parcel companies and their suppliers at the forefront of meeting customer expectations and growing their businesses in new ways.
Nominations for the awards were made during May and June by Postal and Parcel Technology International’s readers. A shortlist was then drawn up and sent to the judging panel, which consisted of 18 industry experts from posts, consultancies and associations from around the world. These included DHL, La Poste, UPU, SingPost, USPS, PostEurop, An Post and many more. The judges ranked the shortlisted nominations in each category in an online vote, revealing the top entry in each category.
The 2017 Winners
Sorting Center Innovation of the Year: PRIME VISION’S HANDLING PROJECTOR
Developed in partnership with PostNL, this device is fitted at workstations in sorting centers. It scans parcels and then displays information about the item to aid manual sorting.
Digital Innovation of the Year: SINGPOST’s SAM KIOSKS & DIGITAL POSTAL SERVICES
Singpost has installed 300 kiosks and launched a website and smartphone application to offer customers fast and convenient access to postal services, from purchasing stamps to weighing parcels and financial transactions.
Environmental Achievement of the Year: FIT THINGS
The Dutch start-up has developed an office printer-sized machine called Slimbox that produces custom-sized packaging to be used by smaller e-commerce firms.
Delivery Innovation of the Year: DPD GERMANY’S RETURNS BUTTON
The German parcel company has launched a smartphone app which simplifies the return of e-commerce goods to just a single tap of a smartphone.
New Business Diversification of the Year: AN POST, DB SCHENKER & PROXIMITY
The three organizations’ new Post Logistics services is a pallet collection and delivery service that makes it easier for Irish companies to export to the rest of Europe.
Supplier of the Year: PRIME VISION
The company has managed to maintain large profit increases while running a broad and highly ambitious range of R&D projects.
Service Provider of the Year: SWISS POST
Switzerland’s postal operator has had an impressive year financially and is realizing growth through its impressive new service offerings and technology-led R&D projects and trials.