More than 4,200 Irish postmen to be equipped with wireless track-and-trace gadgets

3 Jul 2012

The Irish postal service has been given a jump start into the 21st century as more than 4,200 postmen will be equipped with a paperless track-and-trace system to ensure accurate delivery. In addition, customers will be able to check online and see if their letters or parcels have reached recipients.

Each postman – whether driving a van, cycling a bike or travelling on foot – will be equipped with a handheld wireless scanner that will ensure electronic proof of delivery (ePOD).

This will reduce the manual administration involved in filling in manual proof of delivery cards.

The new system has gone live after a deal was signed between An Post and wireless technology specialist Zetes.

It will also future-proof An Post for future developments in mobile technology as well as the long overdue arrival of postcodes in Ireland.

Each postman will be able to use their wireless device to confirm, track and trace deliveries in real-time.

Battle-fit for the e-commerce age

From an internet perspective, the system’s real-time capability will mean that customers of the post office will be able to get confirmations via An Post’s website that a parcel or letter has reached the recipient within two hours of delivery.

“As the volume of e-commerce transactions continues to rise, being able to offer this level of service to all our customers for deliveries or returns is a big differentiator for us,” Liam O’Sullivan, Mails Operations Director at An Post, explained.

“Together with our unrivalled quality of service record, this makes us an even more effective service provider to domestic and  international customers.”

Zetes developed the final 3-in-1 mobile application for An Post, which features in-van scanning, mini track and trace and real-time traceability of consignments. The system runs on the CN50 platform from Intermec.

In addition to developing and implementing the track-and-trace solution, Zetes will provide a three-year managed service to An Post.

This includes weekday end-user support from the Zetes Service Desk between 6am and 6pm, next-day exchange and hardware maintenance of the Intermec CN50 devices, remote device management, application support and IT service management. 

“This project highlights the importance, for postal companies, to invest in highly advanced technological solutions in order to remain competitive,” Alain Wirtz, CEO of Zetes, explained.

“In making this investment, An Post is equipping its business operation to offer a superior service with which they can maintain and enhance their market position,” said Wirtz.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years