Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards 2021 – winners announced!

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The winners of this year’s Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards have been announced during an awards ceremony at PARCEL+POST EXPO in Vienna, Austria (Oct 12-14). The ceremony, held on Tuesday, October 12, revealed who triumphed in each of the eight award categories. 

Lebanon’s national postal operator, LibanPost, came out on top in the most prestigious category during the ceremony – Service Provider of the Year. At a time where posts around the world were struggling to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, LibanPost faced the additional challenges of the country’s economic collapse and the devastating effects of the Beirut port blast – one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history.

During these multiple crises, LibanPost stood tall, delivering exceptional levels of customer service, corporate social responsibility, collaboration and genuine acts of human kindness. The company began to innovate by providing enlarged online services, mobile post office support, enhanced final-mile servicing via a pickup and delivery platform, various payment modalities including cash on delivery, as well as an information servicing channel via a dedicated business WhatsApp account.

Royal Mail triumphed in the New Business Development of the Year category following the rollout of its Parcel Collect parcel pickup service, which at the time was labelled as “one of the biggest shake ups to the daily delivery service since the launch of the post box in 1852.” The move meant that online sellers and shoppers in the UK no longer needed to leave their homes if they wanted to mail or return prepaid items by post. In order to use the service, customers simply ensure that they have already paid the correct postage to send their item. If an item does not have prepaid postage, customers are able to pay for their postage online or via the Royal Mail app.

Meanwhile, in the Supplier of the Year category, Hurricane Commerce was credited for its market-leading partnership with Royal Mail. Hurricane Commerce provides data solutions that enable its customers to achieve seamless cross-border e-commerce deliveries, an area of the market that grew quickly during 2021 as major regulatory events including Brexit, the US STOP Act and the abolition of the VAT exemption on low-value import goods in the EU took effect. Hurricane’s solutions cover the critical cross-border areas of data enhancement; duty and tax calculation; prohibited and restricted goods screening; and denied parties screening. 

DPD Netherlands came out on top in the Last Mile Delivery Innovation of the Year (The Journey) category for its DPDrivR mobile app, which links gamification elements to the driver’s GPS data, scan data and Kiyoh review data. The gamification elements aim to improve service quality through a reward and recognition system, engineered around pickup and delivery performance. Points are received for the driver’s daily performance on certain KPIs, with medals granted as a reward for their long-term performance. 

In the Sorting and Fulfilment Technology of the Year award, Prime Vision won with its Customs Vision solution, specifically developed to automate the processing of international packets and parcels bearing CN22 and CN23 labels, and which allows for the easy acquisition of all required customs data for postal items not pre-declared digitally. The solution used state-of-the-art neural networks based on AI and deep-learning techniques to analyze thousands of previously incomprehensible addresses from individual countries to form connections and learn what is the normal format for each market. 

Nundi, a low-cost delivery network for the Ivory Coast, collected the Final Mile Innovation of the Year (The Final Delivery) award, for developing a delivery network without assets by recruiting pickup points and independent runners, and combining them with local express carriers and logistic players. nundi allows any parcel to be fully tracked all the way from the shipment to its arrival, even if the parcel passes through different hands and companies. The technology is adapted to work with poor internet access and can even work offline. It is also built on an inclusive operating model enabling all Ivorians to send and receive parcels at a fair price even in remote areas, and to increase their income by conveying parcels on their daily route. 

Environmental Achievement of the Year went to bpost for its Ecozone project, which delivered letters and parcels emission-free in the city of Mechelen, Belgium. This was achieved by combining an entirely electric vehicle fleet with cargo bike deliveries and an expanded parcel locker network for package pickup and drop off. The results of the project are being independently monitored by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), which is measuring the impact on the overall quality of life in the city. 

And finally, in the Retail/Customer Service Innovation of the Year category, Stamp Free was recognized for its digital postage solutions which offer the customer the ability to send or return their mail items by simply using the app on their phone. No stamps or printed postage labels are required, just handwritten six-digit codes which are scanned and validated at source before the mail item is sent or returned. 

“The standard of this year’s entries was exceptionally high,” said Dan Symonds, online editor of Parcel and Postal Technology International magazine. “While much of the world has suffered and stalled under the pandemic, the delivery and logistics sector saw record figures across the globe, both in terms of revenue and the number of items sent. The winners and shortlisted companies should all be very proud of their contribution to this increasingly thriving sector.”

For full coverage of this year’s Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards, see the video below.

If you are interested in taking part in the 2022 awards program, please get in touch with Dan Symonds, online editor, Parcel and Postal Technology International: dan.symonds@ukimediaevents.com, Tel: +44 1306 743744.

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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