The shipping business is by nature relatively unsustainable — packaging uses lots of paper, styrofoam is often placed inside boxes, and transportation requires plentiful fuel. Fortunately, UPS has found a way to reduce the paper-waste problem with a new combination scanner and paperless printing device designed by HP.
The HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One scans shipping labels, retrieves sorting information from a UPS database using WiFi, and prints the instructions directly onto a package with HP fast-drying ink. The wearable device works with UPS Package Flow Technology to design delivery routes and generates handling information.
HP's Handheld replaces an unwieldy process that includes a PC monitor, scanner, and large thermal printer.
Not only will the device save millions of dollars each year, it will also save 1,338 tons of paper annually once it is fully deployed. HP's device is currently being used in 41 packaging centers, and will expand to 55 centers by the end of 2008.
While the technology is currently only used by the shipping company, it could one day be used by businesses and consumers eveyrwhere to save paper during the package labeling process.