Belize Postal Services Launches AI-Driven Speed Mail Digitization Project

Belize Postal Services Launches AI-Driven Speed Mail Digitization Project

The Belize Postal Services is stepping up its game with the use of artificial intelligence and technological advances. The postal service launched its Domestic Speed Mail Digitization project today and says that the project will revolutionize the way it delivers packages. Reporter Vejea Alvarez was there for the opening and told us more about the track and trace venture. 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The Belize Postal Services (BPS) is integrating the use of technology to enhance the delivery of packages and improve it’s services countrywide. On Wednesday, BPS launched its Domestic Speed Mail Digitization project. The feature utilizes artificial intelligence and GPS coordinates to allow people to track their packages in real-time and reduce the time they spend in the post office. Postmaster General Marsha Price spoke about the venture and how it will add a competitive edge to the body. 

Marsha Price, Postmaster General: “Firstly customers want to at least know where their packages are. So at least when you come in to our post offices both the customers and their clients are aware that they will be receiving a package. So that aids in eliminating the time for them to call the post office, they will be seeing this transaction live anywhere within Belize City so it allows us to provide what the customers were asking for. People want to see where their packages are so that allows us to at least bridge some gap in this digital divide like I mentioned earlier because we need to provide, be advanced, we need to upscale what we are doing, upscale our services so that is one of the aspect that the post office is providing to their valued customers.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The feature is now available in the sixteen branches country-wide and aims to digitally transform the statutory body. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy, E-Governance, and Logistics Jose Urbina says the software was developed by a local businessman and will enhance the overall services.  

Jose Urbina, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of  Public Utilities, Energy, E-Governance, and Logistics: “It began as a very small project, a pilot project I called it in Orange Walk my home town and it suddenly expanded nationally countrywide which is good. It forced us at the ministry to ensure that we support even more with the purchase of equipment for the Belize Postal Service, the payment for software development and ensuring that the proper capacity building is done here in Belize City for all supervisors and additional staff to ensure that everyone has the proper knowledge in terms of how to use this application.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Postal Manager Xenia Schnarr elaborated on the improvements the digital applications bring customers, like being able to chat with a bot on the BPS’ Facebook page and receive accurate responses.

Xenia Schnarr, Postal Manager: “This digitalization is basically now you don’t have to go to the post office. Let’s say you have twenty packages and stand in a line and wait for a receipt, you could just drop off those packages because now with this system you’ll automatically get a text as the sender and the receiver will also receive a message and with real time tracking telling you okay you posted it in Belize City and let’s say you’re sending it to San Pedro right? You will get a message saying you posted it, the time we process it, the time it leaves the office, when San Pero receives it and when it is ready for delivery or pickup.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Apart from improving the customer experience, the application modernizes the way BPS employees carry out their everyday duties. Postal Manager Brian Jones says the features will save them not only time but also valuable resources.  

Brian Jones, Postal Manager: “Prior to this you would have to physically go to the address, you don’t know if the customer is home, if somebody is available to pick it up so you would go out throughout the day and you’d have to call, bring back the item and then go again. So the chance of repeated delivery is minimized drastically because the customer knows the item is here and they could pick it up there or we could drop it off for them. So the option is with the customer you just tell us what you want to do with your package, arrange pickup or delivery whatever it is it’s there. We’re trying to target all those Facebook live people that sends throughout the country so they could reference the post office we pick up from your location and we’ll drop off. So you’ll actually be able to track when we pick it up from your house or your business until it arrives. We also do the CODs and different credit options so the payment is left to whoever is receiving it. So the person sending the product does not incur a cost on shipping with us.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: All-in-all Urbina says the project is a step in the right direction, as his ministry aims to use technology to improve all aspects of mail delivery at the BPS. 

Jose Urbina, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of  Public Utilities, Energy, E-Governance, and Logistics: “It took us about three months to develop this software and implement. And again not once did I feel the resistance from the Belize Post Office staff in saying we don’t want to change. We have sixteen branches countrywide, a hundred and thirty two staff members within the post office that are hungry for change. I think the Belize Post Office has been left alone for far too long and it’s time to begin the transformation. So today we begin that transformation process here at the Belize Postal Service.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The service does come at an additional cost that the BPS says is reasonable.”

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