In June 2021 the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPost) launched a new track and trace solution for courier package items in a bid to increase efficiency levels, improve its service offering and provide customers with dynamic and innovative solutions that facilitate convenience.
The origins of the new solution date way back to 1999 when the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago initiated a long-term postal reform programme based on modernizing a chronically under-achieving postal institution. The aim of the programme was to build consumer confidence in the public operator, increase its volumes and revenues, improve overall quality of service, and strengthen its financial performance.
The track and trace solution, which is offered as part of TTPost Couriers for express items, is one way the postal operator is working toward achieving this aim. According to George Nicholas Martin, Product Manager of Courier & Express Services at TTPost, the solution has already proven to be “very successful” and had led to “improved levels of confidence with customers, and reductions in the number of calls and emails to query delivery statuses,” he said.
TTPost worked with Indian-based software development company Reason Solutions to develop the track and trace offering. The Post used the company’s Post Global software tracking module and customized it to create the TTPost Post Global Track and Trace System, which is currently hosted on two servers at the National Mail Centre in Piarco and used in the retail network for data entry and task management.
The system provides real time updates on express items to customers and helps gather data for improved management decision making in the areas of network, fleet capability and performance.
“TTPost continues to lead the way in the Caribbean region by embracing innovation and technological advancements,” Martin explained. “The enhancement of its courier service through the implementation of the new online tracking system demonstrates its commitment to its customers to provide dynamic and innovative solutions and facilitate convenience.”
As part of the track and trace project, investments were made in new mobile units for data entry and scanning on the road and in in-house scanners and PCs to increase processing and dispatch capacity. Other supporting applications were also implemented, including: a mobile app for Android, which is used by couriers and transport drivers in the field; a virtual post office on TTPost’s website, which has been created for corporate customers to upload pickup information; and a central administrator and management information system.
“The new track and trace system has led to a number of benefits,” explains Martin. “Customer convenience has been greatly enhanced as they can now digitally track express items, rather than calling or sending an email to receive information. The new digital system also allows for shorter search times when tracking an item. Other benefits include improved visibility on the movements of an item and the provision of critical management data, which can be used to monitor, review, and adjust the network to create improved efficiencies of the service.”
Now the track and trace system is successfully up and running, TTPost is turning its attention to another important development – the introduction of its V Box subscription-based service, which provides a virtual mailbox/address to its subscribers and is set to launch within the next two months, according to Martin.
“V Box is being introduced to cater to the needs of micro and small business who require a formal mailing address (i.e., not in a residential area) to create a new revenue stream as the service includes delivery via courier at chosen timelines, to reduce the costs involved in having physical PO Boxes.
“TTPost is also currently exploring the capabilities of its existing online payment platform to accept payments of duties, taxes and delivery for incoming EMS and parcel post packages, and to facilitate payments from SME customers who want to engage in e-commerce, among other things,” Martin concludes.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2022 edition of Union Postale magazine.