The handheld scanner has been a hallmark of shipping and receiving operations. They keep shipping lines rolling smoothly by quickly and accurately capturing barcode labels on everything from the Bill of Lading to the shipping containers themselves. Handheld scanners are a highly-specialized equipment, and ensuring you have enough to capture everything – and keeping them all maintained – can be expensive.

With that in mind, we’ve set about replicating the functionality of the handheld scanner in an app that can be run on smartphones. Smartphones are extremely handy, easy to use, and have become so commonplace they’re practically with us everywhere we go. What was already a simple task with a handheld scanner becomes that much easier with a smartphone, enabling users to capture data and manage reusable containers on the go.

The app-enabled smartphone is in no way intended to act as a one-to-one replacement for a handheld scanner – instead, such a smartphone should be used in addition to scanners, as a compliment to existing infrastructure.

Smartphone vs. Handheld Scanner

  • Pro: Great for low volume shipments.
  • Pro: Small, convenient, fits in your pocket.
  • Pro: Software auto-updates to the latest version
  • Con: Slow for large volumes (It can only scan one item at a time).
Handheld Scanner
  • Pro: Great for a range of volumes
  • Pro: Capture barcodes at a distance
  • Pro: Easy to use, very quick scanning
  • Con: It’s not a smartphone

Both scanner and smartphones can act as tools for data collection in a logistics environments for very specific use cases. Using a smartphone will likely never truly be capable of replacing a scanner, but acting as a supplemental device, it can allow for greater flexibility in your work flow and as a “quick fix” when speed and convenience is more important than capture volume.


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