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Hongkong Post Harnesses Smart Technology Solutions

Image Credits: HKSAR Government Website, Press Release
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In response to the rapid expansion of e-commerce, Hongkong Post has taken significant strides in harnessing smart technology solutions to revolutionise their operations. Among the notable innovations are the introduction of the iPostal Kiosk service and the implementation of a cutting-edge sorting robotics system. These advancements have not only bolstered operational efficiency but also prioritised workplace safety.

Image: Sorting robots move the packets to their designated unloading fittings based on the recorded information in the system. Image Credits: HKSAR Government Website, Press Release

The iPostal Kiosk service stands out as a convenient solution for individuals seeking to send items weighing up to 2kg, including tracked mail and registered mail. Strategically positioned across all 18 districts, a total of 23 kiosks allow people to purchase postage labels and access postage inquiries 24/7.

Users no longer have to worry about uncertainty regarding the appropriate postage to pay. The iPostal Kiosks are equipped with a state-of-the-art 3D scanner that automatically measures the size and weight of the mail item, alleviating this concern for senders.

The process is simple: users select the desired service, make the necessary payment, and receive printed posting labels and postage labels. These labels can then be affixed to the item before depositing it in the designated drop box. With these steps completed, the posting process is seamlessly concluded.

Image: Once staff place a parcel on the conveyor belt, the system scans its address barcode, measures its weight and size, then records the information in the computer system automatically.
Image Credits: HKSAR Government Website, Press Release

Following collection from the iPostal Kiosks and other collection points, the mail is directed to the Central Mail Centre located in Kowloon Bay for further processing.

In addition to manual sorting, Hongkong Post has embraced advanced technology to optimise their workflow.

By integrating cutting-edge sorting robotics systems, Hongkong Post has significantly enhanced their mail handling process. These innovative robotics systems work alongside postal employees to streamline operations, ensuring greater efficiency and productivity.

This incorporation of technology has not only expedited the sorting process but has also prioritised the safety of the postal workforce.

In March 2022, Hongkong Post implemented an advanced sorting robotics system specifically designed for small parcels. This cutting-edge system automates the sorting process by using barcode scanning, weight and size measurement, and computerised data recording.

Once a staff member places a parcel on the conveyor belt, the system swiftly scans its address barcode, captures its weight, and dimensions, and automatically records the information in the computer system. The sorting robots then transport the parcels to the corresponding unloading fittings.

As the unloading fittings reach capacity, picking robots take charge of sorting the mail bags into designated workstations based on the recorded mail collection points. The mail bags are subsequently sealed by staff and dispatched to their respective delivery destinations.

To ensure continuous operation, the robots autonomously return to the charging station when their power levels are low and resume their duties once fully recharged.

Hongkong Post’s General Manager (Mail Processing) highlighted the system’s functionalities, emphasising the simplification of the mail handling process and the resulting enhancement in operational efficiency.

Compared to the traditional manual sorting approach, this robotics system has the potential to improve operational efficiency by approximately 20%. Equipped with artificial intelligence technology, it is anticipated that even greater efficiency gains will be observed in the future.

Beyond its efficiency benefits, the implementation of the robotics system significantly reduces the need for repetitive manual handling in packet sorting, thereby contributing to improved workplace health and safety standards.

Hongkong Post is set to move into its new headquarters, adjacent to the Central Mail Centre in Kowloon Bay, by the end of the year. This move signifies a significant milestone for the organisation, offering a modern space to support its operations. Additionally, Hongkong Post is actively working on the redevelopment of the Air Mail Centre to increase its capacity and meet the growing demand for local and cross-boundary e-commerce. These developments demonstrate Hongkong Post’s commitment to staying ahead in the postal and e-commerce sectors.Top of Form

Hongkong Post is making significant progress on two key fronts. Firstly, it is preparing to relocate to its new headquarters near the Central Mail Centre in Kowloon Bay by the end of this year. This move will provide Hongkong Post with a modern facility to support its operations effectively.

Secondly, Hongkong Post is diligently working on the redevelopment of the Air Mail Centre. The aim is to expand its capacity to meet the increasing demands of both local and cross-boundary e-commerce. This proactive initiative reflects Hongkong Post’s commitment to addressing the evolving needs of the industry and providing efficient services for its customers.

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