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How IB is Enhancing Small Parcel Shipping Performance with Automated Sorting Machines

In today’s fast-paced world, efficient small parcel processing is crucial for businesses to meet customer expectations and maintain a competitive edge. Traditional manual sorting methods can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and limit scalability. Recognizing the importance of staying ahead of the curve, International Bridge (IB) has made significant investments in expanding our parcel processing capabilities. By acquiring four automated sorting machines, IB is proactively enhancing its ability to handle higher volumes of parcels with unparalleled efficiency and accuracy. This article will delve into the benefits of automated sorting machines and how they are revolutionizing small parcel processing for companies like IB. 

Streamlined Workflow and Increased Throughput

One of the key benefits of automated sorting machines is their ability to streamline the workflow and significantly increase throughput. These machines can process large volumes of parcels with remarkable speed and precision, surpassing the capabilities of manual sorting. By automating the sorting process, businesses can handle higher order volumes, reduce bottlenecks, and meet demanding delivery deadlines more efficiently. For IB, this means a substantial increase in throughput, enabling us to serve our customers better.  

  • Manual package sorting is limited to a few hundred packages per hour per worker. Machine sorting rates are usually in the thousands of packages per hour so even when the total number of workers using a sorting machine is taken into account the sorting capacity per worker per hour is significantly higher with sorting machines.   
  • The total number of sorts is also limited with manual sorting because requiring workers to walk to sort decreases sorter efficiency.  This impact increases as the number of sorts increases.  Sorting machines can provide a greater “depth of sort”. 
  • Sorting changes are more difficult to handle with manual sorting because it relies on visual factors (labels) or feedback from scanning devices to convey static sorting changes.  Today’s sorting machines can use virtual information to modify sorting and can even provide dynamic sorting. 
  • Sorting machines can do much of the lifting and other manual labor done by manual sorters which reduces potential for worker injuries.  This allows workers to observe a sorting machine’s performance.  Sorting machines can also set maximum container weight limits if needed. 
  • Value added functions such as scanning and weighing and dimensioning require additional processes in a manual sorting environment.  Sorting machines with in-line or integrated systems can passively gather all data with reliable accuracy and provide images of actual labels for any package. 
  • Sorting machines provide real-time package to container linking or nesting and container labels are generated with the push of a button.  These features are also available for manual sorting but require additional processes. 

Reduced Errors and Improved Accuracy

Human error is a risk in manual sorting processes. Misplaced or mislabeled parcels can lead to delivery delays, customer dissatisfaction, and added expenses for businesses. Automated sorting machines eliminate such errors by using advanced scanning, imaging, and barcode recognition technologies. These machines can accurately read and interpret shipping labels, ensuring that each parcel is sorted correctly and reaches its intended destination with precision. They can also identify and reject parcels with unreadable or missing labels, reducing the chances of rejected parcels and lost or delayed shipments. By flagging problematic parcels, operators can address these issues, minimizing errors and improving accuracy. This reduces mis-deliveries and minimizes the need for costly re-routing. 

Enhanced Sorting Precision and Flexibility

Automated sorting machines leverage sophisticated algorithms and intelligent software to optimize the sorting process. They can categorize parcels based on various criteria, such as size, weight, destination, or shipping service level. This enables IB to implement customized sorting rules and efficiently handle diverse product lines or specific shipping requirements. By assigning the right sorting paths to each parcel, automated sorting machines ensure optimal routing and minimize the time required for sorting and transportation. IB’s automated sorting machines are supported by a dedicated team that ensures optimal sorting and communicates any changes to customers. This collaborative approach guarantees precise sorting, efficient routing, and clear communication throughout the shipping process. 

Real-Time Tracking and Data Insights 

Automated sorting machines are equipped with advanced tracking technologies that enable real-time monitoring of the sorting process. This allows IB to gain valuable insights into the performance of their small parcel processing operations. By analyzing data on processing times, bottlenecks, or peak periods, we were able to identify areas for improvement, optimize our operations, and make informed decisions to enhance efficiency further. Real-time tracking also provides customers with accurate shipment updates, boosting transparency and trust.

Weight and Dimension Capturing Systems

The combination of legally approved scales and a dimension-capturing system significantly improves the overall efficiency and effectiveness of small parcel processing. With accurate weight and dimension data readily available and integrated into our sorting equipment, IB can streamline sorting, routing, and shipping decisions. This integration eliminates the need for manual measurements, reducing human errors, and saving valuable time during the processing stage. Furthermore, it enables precise weight and dimensional data to be seamlessly integrated with shipping systems, enabling automated label generation, error-free eVS manifesting and real-time tracking information.  

Next Steps with IB Automation

Following the successful implementation of a sorting machine at our Los Angeles (LAX) sorting center, we are excited to announce that IB is expanding our automated sorting capabilities to three additional key locations. Building on the proven effectiveness of our initial deployment, IB is now working on installing sorting machines in the sorting centers of Cincinnati (CVG), San Juan (SJU) and Newark (EWR). This strategic expansion ensures that more customers across different regions will benefit from the enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and speed provided by our automated sorting machines. By leveraging this technology in multiple centers, IB is further solidifying its commitment to delivering exceptional small parcel shipping performance to businesses and customers nationwide.  

Automated Sorting machines Driving Savings

The integration of automated sorting machines into small parcel processing operations has revolutionized the way businesses handle their shipments. By streamlining workflow, reducing errors, and improving overall efficiency, these machines have become essential tools for companies aiming to meet the growing demands of the modern market. With increased throughput, enhanced accuracy, and the ability to customize sorting paths, automated sorting machines empower businesses to scale their operations and deliver an exceptional customer experience. By embracing this technological advancement, companies can drive efficiency, reduce costs, and position themselves at the forefront of the small parcel shipping industry. 

IB’s automated sorting equipment offers operational benefits and significant cost savings to IB and our customers. By minimizing errors and mis-deliveries, these machines alleviate the financial burden of reshipping or redirecting parcels. Streamlined workflows and increased throughput enable us to handle higher volumes without added labor costs. Integration of accurate weight and dimension capturing systems eliminates manual measurements, saving time and reducing costly mistakes. Partnering with IB means improved efficiency and reduced expenses, delivering exceptional service and substantial cost savings to customers.  

To learn more about how IB can help you prepare for the upcoming peak season, drive savings and optimize your shipping network, contact us at