Two men are unboxing a package with digital device

Parcel shipping is more competitive than ever, with customers expecting fast, quality service. To stay ahead of the curve, most warehouse managers and logistic and transport companies have embraced automated technologies such as parcel dimensioning. If your business hasn’t adopted this relatively new technology, choosing the best system for your needs can be difficult. This comprehensive article will discuss how parcel dimensioning systems work and why they can potentially transform your business.

What Is a Parcel Dimensioning System?

A yellow fork lift inside a large warehouse

A Parcel Dimensioning System is a device that rapidly and accurately measures the dimensions of parcels. It can provide an instantaneous 3D dimensional analysis and determine the exact size and weight of packages, which can help reduce packing, shipping, and storage costs.

The system usually consists of three main components: a sensor, a processor, and a display unit. The sensor is most commonly a laser-based scanner or camera that captures the 3D shape data from the package. The processor then interprets this data to calculate the exact measurements such as length, width, height, weight, volume, density, and other characteristics of the parcel. Finally, it’s displayed on the user interface for real-time viewing or further processing.

The accuracy of a Parcel Dimensioning System depends heavily on the scanner’s resolution. The higher the measurement resolution (in millimeters), the more accurate it will be in capturing details of parcels, such as indentations and protrusions. Additionally, image processing algorithms are used to differentiate between different types of materials to enhance accuracy even further.

Parcel Dimensioning Systems come with various value-added features that allow users to customize their measurements according to their specific requirements. They can be programmed to:

  • Recognize different container types, such as hexagonal boxes or pallets
  • Support multiple languages
  • Save data results for future reference
  • Generate pre-defined reports
  • Integrate with existing systems like ERP/WMS
  • Use barcode scanning capabilities
  • Integrate with cloud-based services like Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)

Parcel Dimensioning Systems come in both static and in-line varieties.

Benefits of a Parcel Dimensioning System for Warehouses

Optimized Storage Space

robotic arm for packing purposes and maintaining Parcel Dimensioning System

Parcel Dimensioning Systems can measure the exact dimensions of incoming packages, allowing warehouses to optimize the storage space that each package requires. This increases efficiency by facilitating more efficient use of available storage space and ensuring that no valuable real estate is wasted.

By utilizing geometrical data from Parcel Dimensioning Systems, warehouse managers can arrange packages in a way that reduces the time needed for pickers to access any given package. This increases productivity and enhances operational efficiency.

Easier Parcel Sorting

A man analyzing Parcel Dimensioning System on a digital tablet  inside a warehouse

Parcel Dimensioning Systems allow for faster and more accurate sorting of parcels, which helps reduce delivery times while improving customer satisfaction.

By sorting parcels by size and weight before they reach the warehouse, companies will only need to load or unload the parcels relevant to a particular shipment or order. This helps reduce wait times significantly, providing customers with faster delivery times.

Enhanced Customer Service Experiences

Managing a warehouse system using digital technology

A Parcel Dimensioning System grants warehouses access to more accurate information regarding the shipped packages, resulting in improved customer service experiences. Customers can keep track of their shipments in real-time, giving them greater transparency and assurance that their purchases will be delivered on time.

In addition, more precise measurements allow for better tracking capabilities, making it easier for customers and warehouse staff to locate lost shipments or find out details about a delayed delivery.

Reduced Shipping Errors

Identifying a package order and delivery data using Parcel Dimensioning System

An automated Parcel Dimensioning System makes a warehouse far less likely to make packaging or shipping errors due to incorrect measurements or miscalculations. This eliminates the risk of overcharging or undercharging customers due to inaccurately measured packages. It also prevents returns due to incorrectly shipped items.

Accurate Inventory Data

A man utilizing a digital tablet creating an inventory of products

An automated Parcel Dimensioning System offers accurate inventory data. It allows warehouses to get real-time information about shipments, such as dimensions, weight, and volume, without having to measure each package manually. This speeds up delivery times and increases accuracy when billing customers.

Improved Safety Conditions

A man sitting on a fork lift while holding a device

Increased accuracy also leads to improved safety conditions in warehouses as workers don’t need to climb ladders or go into hazardous areas when dealing with parcels. This significantly reduces the time lost due to injury-related accidents.

Future Capacity Planning

A man holding a digital tablet inside warehouse while planning

A Parcel Dimensioning System helps warehouses accurately forecast future capacity needs. By measuring and analyzing the sizes, shapes, and weights of incoming parcels, warehouses can gain valuable insight into when additional space will be needed or when resources can be reallocated.

This data can be used to plan staffing and operational strategies efficiently, helping warehouses run more smoothly.

Conveyor Planning

By accurately measuring incoming parcels in real time, warehouse staff can quickly select the most suitable conveyor widths needed for effective sorting and transfer of the parcels. This helps reduce misplacement during transit and ensures an efficient workflow within the warehouse.

Benefits of a Parcel Dimensioning System for Logistics and Transportation

Transferring an item outside a warehouse using a crane

Increased Efficiency

A Parcel Dimensioning System increases efficiency and accuracy throughout the logistics and transportation process by allowing businesses to accurately measure, weigh, and track shipments in real-time. This eliminates manual input errors and minimizes human error when calculating the dimensions and weights of parcels.

Additionally, it streamlines the packing process by letting businesses quickly determine which container size will be most suitable for a shipment. This speeds up both shipment preparation and loading times.

Enhanced Visibility

Parcel Dimensioning Systems can provide enhanced visibility into the entire shipping process, allowing businesses to monitor shipments from origin to destination at any point during the journey. This helps companies to develop an accurate understanding of where their goods are located throughout the shipping process and gives them insight into any potential delays or issues during transport.

Additionally, with greater visibility into shipments comes a greater ability to make informed decisions about how best to manage operations on a day-to-day basis.

Improved Accuracy

By providing automated measurements that are more accurate than manual methods, these systems help ensure that orders meet the necessary criteria for acceptance by partner carrier networks. This enhances the accuracy of shipping quotes provided by such carriers and eliminates potential miscalculations. It also reduces overcharging attributable to incorrect measurements.

Cost Savings

The use of a Parcel Dimensioning System in logistics and transportation can lead to significant cost savings. By accurately measuring the size and weight of each parcel, companies can reduce packaging costs associated with over-packaging and excess material waste. Additionally, the system allows for more accurate calculations of shipping charges, resulting in fewer overcharges or return fees.

In many cases, using a Parcel Dimensioning System will also result in lower freight rates since the package is measured to exact specifications rather than relying on estimations. And because the system accurately records all shipped parcels, there’s no need for manual counting or sorting of parcels which would require additional staff costs.

Gathering of Important Data

A key benefit of dimensioning systems is that they help gather accurate data. By analyzing the data, organizations can identify potential areas for optimization, such as capacity utilization and load balancing. This information can inform decisions about how best to optimize operations.

For example, a company may use data analysis to identify underutilized resources and reallocate them to areas where they are needed most.

Additionally, data analysis can help detect anomalies in otherwise expected behavior, allowing companies to take corrective action before any problems arise.

Alternative Options

A man holding a tablet and scanner to scan a barrel

Before delving into the world of dimensioning equipment, it’s important to be familiar with the different types of units available and understand which type works best for specific applications. Dimensioning systems can generally be grouped into two main categories: those designed to measure pallet loads and those intended to measure parcels or individual items.

Parcel dimensioners are further divided into two distinct types – static tabletop models and in-motion systems that calculate measurements as items pass through a tunnel. Static tabletop systems typically require manual input from the operator, while in-motion systems feature sensors that measure objects automatically.

Each type has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s wise to carefully consider both options before making a selection.

Pallet Dimensioning Systems

Three men operating a fork lift inside the warehouse

A Pallet Dimensioning System is used to accurately calculate the volume or size of a pallet load before it’s loaded onto a trailer. It typically consists of a scanner and dimensioner mounted on the ceiling or a column that detects and records the specifics of the pallet as it passes through. The pallet needs to be transported via forklift directly underneath the system for scanning, at which point its dimensions are recorded for further analysis.

Pallet dimensioners provide a great solution for trucking companies that need an accurate and reliable way to calculate and determine shipping charges. They are specifically designed to measure the precise volume of a load rather than just relying on the dimensions of the standard pallet. Companies can avoid getting unexpected freight fees at the end of each billing cycle by using these devices.

Furthermore, knowing the precise cargo measurements can be extremely beneficial for carriers when choosing the most appropriate trucks for transport.

On the downside, Pallet Dimensioning Systems can be cumbersome and time-consuming. The pallets must be picked up, passed through the scanner, and then relocated to pave the way for the next item. But the good thing is that more streamlined solutions are now under trial.

For example, some businesses are experimenting with an approach that involves placing laser sensors on forklifts to establish the load’s measurements as it is picked up. Others are trialing a system that captures measurements as trucks pass through tunnels equipped with sensors.

Parcel Dimensioning Systems

Two individuals having conversation with a digital tablet

Parcel Dimensioning systems come in static and in-line varieties.

A Static Parcel Dimensioning System can be considered a semi-automated solution because it requires an operator to place the parcel on the machine. Once the item is in position, the machine takes its measurements, including the weight. This type of equipment is usually stationary but can also be wheeled on a cart around the distribution center.

Conversely, In-line Dimensioning Systems have an in-motion or in-line feature. Parcels move through a tunnel as their measurements are captured with either 3-D cameras or lasers.

Static dimensioners as well as in-line varieties have various uses in distribution centers. At the exit, these devices can be employed to measure the dimensions of each item. This is an important step when computing the shipping costs. At the inbound end, they can be used to determine the size of stock-keeping units entering a facility.

In-motion parcel dimensioners are typically faster than their static counterparts. Their speed and precision make them ideal for applications with more demanding throughput needs. In addition, they can offer greater accuracy by measuring parcels in motion. This allows them to capture more data points than traditional static dimensioners, resulting in more accurate measurements.

Pricing for Parcel Dimensioning System

Woman is holding a parcel and checking it in a system

The price range can vary greatly depending on the type of Parcel Dimensioning System you require. The cost typically starts at around $500 per unit for a basic system designed to measure smaller packages. For those who need a more sophisticated system for larger packages, the price range could be anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000.

Of course, exact pricing will depend on several factors, including features, size of the device, and any additional services or accessories included within the purchase price.

For an exact quote, please use our contact form, and one of our experienced customer service representatives will be happy to help you find the ideal solution for your needs.

Talk to a Warehousing Expert

A man who is holding digital tablet inside warehouse

When choosing a Parcel Dimensioning System, it’s important to talk to a warehousing expert.

With their industry expertise and insight, they can provide valuable advice on the most suitable solution for your needs. As experienced professionals, warehousing experts understand the complexities of selecting a Parcel Dimensioning System. They can help you identify the right features, capabilities, and solutions that will meet your needs throughout the product lifecycle.

Warehousing experts can provide an unbiased opinion on the latest trends in dimensioning systems. They can also provide valuable insights into how your warehouse infrastructure may need to be enhanced or modified to accommodate the new system and its associated technologies.