To more precisely track individual shipments in transit, FedEx Corp. is rolling out a new service next year dubbed SenseAware., which will combine a GPS sensor device and a web-based collaboration platform in one package. The new service will become available in the spring of 2010.
A small sensor device placed inside individual packages, boxes, etc., works as a multi-modal tracking and tracing solution that spans multiple transportation connections, providing customers with near real-time visibility and insight into specific shipment status, according to FedEx.
FedEx said it has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for SenseAware to be used during flight on FedEx aircraft and will allow FedEx customers to monitor in-transit conditions during the ground transportation leg of such shipments as well.
The company noted that its SenseAware device riding with a FedEx shipment will provide several pieces of information to customers: Precise temperature readings; a shipment’s exact location; when and if a shipment is opened or if the contents have been exposed to light; plus real-time alerts and analytics between trusted parties regarding the above vital signs of a shipment. The SenseAware device is also flexible enough to be used for single shipments or in large palletized shipments, noted Robert Carter, FedEx executive vp & CIO.
“One of the basic needs we saw was a sensor-based logistics industry that wasn’t solidifying as quickly as we thought it should around useful sharing of sensor information,” he said. “We developed a point-of-view that sharing sensor information dynamically and in useful ways with supply chain partners proved too difficult, so we attacked this on a number of fronts and the result is SenseAware.”