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New OCR reader technology increases efficiency in sorting centers for chinese parcels at lower cost

Postal & Parcel Distribution centres face new challenges with Chinese parcels.

With the increasing number of parcels sent from China new challenges arise for Postal and Parcel companies. In 2019 more than 60 billion! parcels have their origin from Chinese import. Good for companies like Alibaba, AliExpress, Wish and JD.com. But is it also good for your organization?

A large part of these parcels is shipped to Europe and the US and delivered by 100’s of courier companies. Before delivery in the last mile takes place, a complex process of handling, sorting and customs clearing is needed. To efficiently sort the shipment to its final destination, determine customs duties and taxes, most of the information written on the label of the parcel needs to be processed.

Consequences for your organization.

Postal and Parcel distribution centres often run into challenges with these parcels. Sorting and delivery are delayed because of poor quality of the address labels on the parcels. Many of the labels and addresses are incorrectly formatted, in illogical order and/or miss critical information.

Current mainstream OCR readers in distribution centres are unable to correctly recognise the labels. Automatic sorting of these parcels therefore fails frequently. As a result more manual sorting effort is needed in the distribution centres. This leads to increased cost of sorting and delays in delivery. That may even lead to possible reputation damage for your organization and claims from customers.

Negative effects for your organization:

  • Delay in delivery of Chinese parcels to end destination
  • Higher cost for sorting due to increased human effort
  • Lower profit margins
  • Stress with staff
  • Claims from customers
  • Company reputation damage

Solution: the Chinese Address Reader.

Prime Vision recognised and addressed the challenges in scanning labels from Chinese import and developed “The Chinese Address Reader” to deal with these challenges. The solution however is much more focused on recognising all kinds of labels that do not follow the standard labelling procedures. The intelligence that powers this solution is based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and deep learning. The Chinese Address Reader is a system that learns from every label read. Thus, lowering the failure rate in scanning labels and sorting parcels. Parcels can now be sorted and delivered faster at lower cost.

Bottom-line is that our technology doesn't focus so much (only) on the labels themselves, but certainly also on:

  • The method of addressing that does not conform to postal standards (duplicate and/or non-address relevant data in an illogical order);
  • The print quality of the labels that is limited (low contrast and few image pixels per character);
  • The type of packages (small, deformable)

Prime Vision received the Postal Technology International Award 2019 in category Sorting and Fulfilment technology for their Chinese Address reader solution.

How the Chinese Address reader improves efficiency for your distribution and sorting centres.

Reading poorly compiled labels from Asia is an industry-wide issue that until now, no-one else has been able to address seriously. Attempts to innovate traditional OCR systems haven’t come close to a practical working solution.

We succeeded in developing the Chinese Address Reader by leveraging state-of-the-art neural networks based on AI and Deep Learning techniques. By presenting thousands of previously unfathomable addresses of individual countries to the neural network, the solution is able to learn the formats, regularities and connections within address formats.

Benefits of the Chinese Address reader summarized:

  • Decreasing failure rate in automatic sorting
  • Less manual sorting needed
  • Faster delivery to end destination
  • Low investment with high ROI
  • Usable as stand-alone solution or connected to your existing OCR readers

Conclusion:

The Chinese Address reader improves the efficiency in the sorting phase of the delivery process. It cuts cost of manual labour and speeds up delivery of the Chinese parcels to their end destination.

Contact us for more information and a quick assessment.

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