Some of the 100 all-electric EVI delivery vans UPS is deploying in California. Big Brown plans to begin using package beacons in 301 U.S. locations this year. (Photo courtesy of the California Clean Energy)

UPS to deploy electronic beacons to spot misloads

April 23, 2017
Big Brown says it expects the new technology will help cut “misloads” by 70%.

United Parcel Service  (UPS) is going to start installing electronic “beacons” in delivery vans as a way to alert employees if a box has accidently been placed in the wrong vehicle.

The company said its new Preload Smart Scan program uses Bluetooth-enabled beacons that communicate with scanning devices worn by package loaders.

The scanners read the labels and are programmed to know where a package belongs in a specific vehicle, while the beacons send signals that are unique to certain vehicles and their position within the vehicle, UPS added.

Big Brown believes its Preload Smart Scan system will lead to a 70% reduction in misloads.

“This is an important step toward improving accuracy in our operation,” John Dodero, vice president of industrial engineering, said in a statement. “It raises the level of service we provide to our customers. It also makes us more efficient and generates valuable cost savings.”

Beacons will be in 301 U.S. locations this year, reaching a total of 28% of U.S. facilities and 47% of its domestic package cars. UPS also plans to expand the initiative to facilities internationally.

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