FedEx launched a new way for tracking packages to ensure the safety of the parcels until they reach their respective destinations.
Typically, a package is barcoded, which is repeatedly scanned 10 to 20 times throughout the process while shipping companies upload the details to their websites, so people can check their status whenever they want. Former FedEx executive Satish Jindel said publishing the data does not cost anything, and people like knowing that their parcel has been delivered. Jindel’s current company, ShipMatrix, analyzes the package-shipping data.
However, The Wired reported that the world’s largest logistics companies are developing advanced tracking devices to ensure the packages are properly tracked. This is because some industries require stringent tracking because the packages are highly sensitive, like health care.
To ensure the safety of each package, FedEx launched a tiny Bluetooth-enabled sensor that will be attached for quick shipping sensitive packages to help customers follow the shipping. Currently, the sensors will be limited to sensitive parcels for the company’s top five clients in retail, health care, and aerospace industries.
These new sensors replaced the heavier, older version that uses cell phone networks to track the parcel’s location. The new model “communicates” with around 300,000 devices that are scattered across the FedEx vehicles and facilities in the U.S.
These sensors are active as they constantly send out updates about their locations within about a meter. Unlike the earlier version that needed to be charged every four days, the new ones have batteries that could last for a year. Meanwhile, FedEx did not divulge the cost of these devices but claims these are cost-effective.
FedEx sensors are different from the ones with UPS launched in May that also use cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies in tracking and collecting data on sensitive packages.
For now, the FedEx sensors will only track location, but they can also be outfitted to track environmental factors, which can be critical in sensitive parcels like temperature, light, and humidity.
Logistics business proved to be highly important during the COVID-19 pandemic as it means the survival of a certain community. It can even be a matter of life and death, while an expensive drug that arrives late might be rendered useless if the patient has already passed away.
Since there is a growing number of older people who require regular access to medical devices and medications, it means there is a growing demand for healthcare logistics. This is the reason companies are spending much on tracking this type of shipment.
However, delivering sensitive packages like vaccines of health supplies has proved to be highly difficult. The German delivery company Deutsche Post warned earlier this month that dispersing vaccines from manufacturers to health authorities may be highly challenging, particularly in Asia, Africa, and South America. This is because the vaccines not only carry syringes but also sensitive to temperature, which needs to be kept at as low as -112 degrees Fahrenheit while it is being shipped worldwide.
Meanwhile, FedEx’s chief information officer Rob Carter said the world has a lot of needs, particularly during the pandemic. This entails “an awful lot of interest in making sure that your shipment is being handled correctly” and it reaches the destination at the exact time.
Read also: Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine Clinical Trials Resumes; Why it Ended in the First Place
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Written by CJ Robles