Postal consultancy Prime Competence has developed a new Reference Framework to help guide postal operators looking to implement the Internet of Postal Things (IoPT) for the first time.
The IoPT is a network of physical objects machines, equipment, vehicles and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity that enable them to collect and exchange data to the advantage of the user.
The new Reference Framework sets out to provide guidance on the practical application of IoPT, with particular focus on the logistics function. Every post experiences common logistics problems such as undelivered mail, seasonal demand fluctuations, the availability of sufficient roll containers in the right places at the right times, and a lack of current location-specific inventory information with regard to moveable objects.
Knowing the location, route, load factor (by volume and weight) and other data about shipments and assets can be extremely valuable. Importantly, such capabilities can also facilitate additional revenue streams or business models.
For instance, there is potential to offer deeper level track-and-trace capability, along with services such as live re-direct and live collection/returns, based on current and predicted location of mail delivery personnel and vehicles. There is also the potential for the use of autonomous robots and drones in the mail and parcel handling process.
As there is no off-the-shelf IoPT solution that meets all requirements, each application will determine its own set of hardware and software specifics. The correct choices of technology will be determined by factors such as speed, cost and effectiveness for the specific post, leading to a ‘best of breed’ solution for each individual application.
Prime Competence is currently working with a number of posts to develop smart, future-proof and cost-effective solutions based on its IoPT Reference Framework.
October 4, 2016