While logistics and distribution operations once shipped comparatively uniform goods in relatively uniform packaging, they must now process boxes, parcels, polybags, and jiffy bags, as well as ship-in-own-container products that come in countless colors, sizes, and geometries. For decades, bar code scanners were the workhorse of the track and trace industry, but the need to collect more data more quickly from more packages has prompted more advanced machine vision technology to become a fixture in many distribution operations.

In a recent AIA article appearing on visiononline.org, Tech B2B account executive Dan McCarthy examines the relative (and often complementary) merits of machine vision solutions and laser bar code scanners, as well as what's new and what's next for imaging in logistics operations. Spoiler alert: The major brick-and-mortar retailers may ring up the next wave of automation applications.

Also stay tuned to the TECH B2B Blog for future articles on how vision technology and automation are optimizing the cost, risk, and speed of logistics operations.