4 Benefits of Hands-Free Barcode Reading for Logistics

Box being scanned by hands-free reader

Online shopping has surged, and customers are expecting quick deliveries. This is putting pressure on retailers and e-commerce platforms to increase their operational efficiency. On top of that, labor shortages have made it harder to find personnel to move packages around and shipping packages in a timely manner depends on maintaining high levels of performance throughout the facility.

However, many logistics companies still manually scan incoming products with laser-based hand or ring scanners. While these methods are inexpensive, they’re not efficient. Often, they result in the following challenges: 

  • Ripped, torn, or worn barcodes can’t be read with laser technology, resulting in extra time and cost to manually process packages

  • Laser technology can’t capture images of no-reads to diagnose label issues

  • Time is wasted picking up and putting down hand scanners

image of a barcode on a box being scanned by a mounted barcode reader

Using fixed-mount image-based barcode readers to scan products hands-free and overhead allow associates to keep packages moving while the reader scans the barcodes.

Here are 4 reasons to switch to hands-free barcode reading solutions. 

1. Increased throughput and productivity 

By eliminating the repetitive motion of picking up and putting down handheld scanners, you can easily increase throughput with hands-free barcode readers. The overhead, hands-free readers are also more powerful in that they can read multiple codes as once, as well as damaged, worn, or torn codes, allowing you to process more packages faster and keep workers productive. 

2. Ergonomic features  

Hands-free barcode reading means workers don’t have to handle any equipment. The reader is mounted overhead, allowing operators to scan packages in one fluid motion. Not only does this benefit workers in that it avoids musculoskeletal injuries, but it reduces the risk of parcels being dropped or damaged. In addition, the ‘always on’ lights of the readers reduce operator fatigue and discomfort.  

3. Less maintenance and replacement costs 

By nature, handheld readers endure a lot of wear and tear from being handled and put down repeatedly. Hands-free readers help you reduce maintenance and replacement costs since they are mounted overhead and contain no moving parts that could be damaged or lost. Additionally, the lowered maintenance helps to avoid associate-related injury costs.   

4. Handle a variety of logistics applications  

Hands-free barcode reading is flexible enough to handle a variety of logistics applications across your facility. In the inbound area, you can read codes on incoming packages and verify the order manifest. Within order fulfillment, you can improve pick times and accuracy and process more orders against the pick plan. In the outbound section, you can build pallets faster and increase overall truck loading efficiency4 image of boxes being scanned by hands-free scanner

To learn more about Cognex Hands-Free Barcode Reading solutions, check out our Hands-Free Barcode Reading Applications Guide below or calculate your potential cost savings with our Logistics ROI Calculator.

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