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FedEx develops sensor for precision parcel tracking

FedEx has developed a new sensor which can be used to track packages in real time as they move through a logistics network.

SenseAware ID uses a small, light sensor which transmits precise location data every two seconds to nearby access points using Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. This means each package equipped with the solution can be tracked hundreds of times rather than the typical dozens of times.

Initially, the sensors will be applied to First Overnight shipments within the domestic FedEx Express network.

The company plans to provide access to the enhanced tracking data to a select group of customers in healthcare, aerospace and retail in November. Further customers will receive access throughout the first half of 2021, with general availability for premium FedEx Express services coming later.

Possible use cases could include healthcare customers monitoring and protecting shipments from environmental conditions, using the likes of cold-chain storage, thermal blankets and temperature-controlled containers.

Robert B. Carter, chief information officer, FedEx, said: “Package tracking and visibility are more important now than ever, as businesses have become increasingly reliant on timely deliveries.

“Created by our innovation teams at FedEx, SenseAware ID was designed to give our customers the precise level of tracking they’ve been looking for, enabling them to optimise their supply chains and make any necessary adjustments during the journey of their shipments.”