For global print and mail operators, it’s critical that all pieces of mail reach their destination. This requires readable address labels and barcodes on parcels, packages and mail of all sizes, ensuring the information is accurately captured. But what happens when not every country has the same postal requirements for address labeling?

Oftentimes, packages being shipped from Eastern Asian countries (i.e., China) can be more difficult to read. This can be due to numerous factors, including irregularly shaped packages, improper address formatting, multiple barcodes, various font sizes and addresses being written differently. Additionally, once a package arrives in the US, the tracking from the original provider stops. There must be a new tracking barcode created to determine that package’s location and when it will arrive at its destination, creating a potential gap in the recipient’s ability to track their parcel.

So how can shipping operations ensure that all global address labels are readable, regardless of country of origin? What must be done to continuously meet delivery and tracking SLAs, even when the recipients and senders are on opposite ends of the world?

Overcoming China Mail pain points

High volumes of shipping originating from China is currently flooding the mail and packaging market. In fact, Asia-Pacific is listed as the largest regional parcels market by value, accounting for around 40% of the global market. Furthermore, China represents nearly 60% of the Asia-Pacific regional total by value, with Chinese parcel volumes hitting 31.2 billion in 2016 – more than a 50% increase from 2015. 

But the problem is, the mail is not always readable. When you consider the volume of parcels being shipped out of China, unreadable barcodes or address labels can majorly impact deliverability. Undeliverable mail leads to dissatisfied customers. If you’re a high-volume mailer with items being shipped globally to customers, you cannot afford to have hard-to-read labels negatively impacting your business.  

The potential of undeliverable mail coming in from China is becoming untenable for businesses because there’s simply no telling how readable or not a package coming in from China will be. Organizations need a solution that can anticipate and process any type of mail coming to them. 

Improving read rates with an automated solution

The majority of pain points with China Mail stem from whether or not an address label or barcode on a package is readable. Even when using a machine or camera to read address blocks and characters on a package, irregular-shaped or small packages can prevent the label from lying flat and perpendicular to the camera.

The other option is manual processing, which might be more effective, but is also more time consuming. Each package has to be labeled and processed by hand. Additionally, with the address being entered manually, human error becomes a possibility.

Organizations need an automated solution that can account for all potential issues, covering everything from address blocks interspersed with Chinese characters to sender addresses being more prominent than the destination address.   

With intelligent label recognition, companies can improve their read rates and ensure that misreading unclear labels and addresses will not occur again in the future. Enhancements made on the ROI locator can perform deep learning on word and symbol location/extraction. That way, should the same potential address or label error come through again, the sorter knows how to handle the situation.

BlueCrest sorters can account for everything from letters to parcels, with processing speeds up to 50,000 mail pieces per hour, and are all equipped with SortEngine™ 360 software, which offers real-time data, a seamless interface and the application flexibility to add value to daily operations.

Having a fully automated solution for managing China Mail eliminates key parcel processing pain points for companies and can help streamline their global print and mail operations.

With BlueCrest’s SortEngine 360 software, you can be sure to meet all postal compliance and regulations worldwide. The all-in-one, flexible postal sortation solution empowers high-volume mailers to centrally manage all of their mail sorters in a single solution. BlueCrest also accounts for the highest level of privacy and security, ensuring GDPR adherence so your global sorting solution remains top of its class.

More Insights