UPS has begun deploying a new combination scanner and paperless printing device from HP. The technology allows for the printing of sorting labels directly on packages. The two companies worked together for 18 months to develop a mobile unit known as the HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One. UPS then created a custom business application to support the device. Once the technology is fully deployed, the elimination of paper labels will save 1,338 tons of paper and millions of dollars in operating costs each year, UPS said. The wearable, wireless device is being used in conjunction with UPS's Package Flow Technology system for route planning. PFT designs delivery routes that minimize left-hand turns. It also generates specific handling instructions for each package, telling loaders the precise position within a truck to place a package for delivery the next day. UPS has already begun using the devices in 41 U.S. package centers, and plans to expand them to 850 imprinters in 55 centers by the end of this year. It expects to use the technology to process 1.5m packages per business day by mid-2009, and boost the number to 3.1m by 2010.
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