Why Do Boston Couriers Scan Your Packages?

Posted on November 21, 2019

Although this question may seem obvious in its answer, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to barcodes. Sure, we’ve all seen couriers in Boston delivering packages to our homes and businesses. Think about one of the first things they do when they arrive with your package; they scan it. Although we all know this is a tracking method, there is more to the technology than you may have ever imagined.


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The history

Invented and patented in 1951 by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver, the barcode took over twenty years to become commercially successful. Based off of the Morse code, the combination of varying widths, spaces, and parallel lines was a system created for classification purposes. Although it was tested in several markets, it was not until bar codes were used in grocery stores that they gained popularity.


What a barcode tells

A barcode is a way to embed information within a visual pattern that scanners, or barcode readers, can decipher. The combination of elements represents different characters creating an algorithm for the particular type of barcode. Often with delivery services, merchants will use a 2D barcode to encode the information.


When scanning a package, information such as the following may appear on the receiving computer:


  • Product information: manufacturer, type, size, weight
  • Images
  • Website addresses
  • Pricing


Although these can be important factors, couriers in Boston rely on barcodes more for the tracking capabilities. With live system updates, businesses are empowered with knowledge. Here are a few other reasons to consider utilizing barcodes:


  • Enable more efficient operation with fewer errors
  • Live asset tracking
  • Import data from external sources like databases and files
  • Easily integrated into existing tracking systems


What is a 2D barcode

First developed in 1987, the 2D barcode incorporates the use of more than lines. Elements such as rectangles, dots, hexagons, and other geometric shapes allow an extensive amount of information to be stored. A 2D barcode can hold up to 7,089 characters, whereas the standard capacity is 20 characters. Beyond the information capacity, this type is growing in popularity due to the legibility it maintains when printed in small sizes.


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For more information on how Fleet Services may be able to help your Boston courier needs, contact us today at (800) 734-9309. Our team utilizes the most up-to-date technologies ensuring peace of mind with the most sensitive of deliveries.