FedEx prepares for vaccine distribution with launch of precise tracking sensor

FedEx has launched a lightweight, sensor-based logistics device called SenseAware ID that enables the highly precise tracking of shipments.

FedEx said that the launch of SenseAware ID is “well-timed”, as it continues to move pharma and medical supplies around the US. In addition, it expects SenseAware ID to be used in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines when they become available. 

SenseAware ID transmits precise package location data every two seconds via Bluetooth low energy (BLE) to WiFi access points or established gateway devices throughout the FedEx Express network.

Packages equipped with a SenseAware ID sensor are tracked hundreds of times across the supply chain, rather than dozens of times, which is the case with traditional package scanning protocols. This means that SenseAware ID equipped shipments have an “unprecedented amount of real-time data about the location of the shipment”.

As part of the initial roll-out, SenseAware ID sensors are being used with FedEx’s First Overnight shipment service within the US.

“Following this, an initial round of customers in the healthcare, aerospace and retail industries will receive access to the enhanced data in November 2020,” a spokesperson for FedEx said. “FedEx expects to expand access to this precision location data to additional customers throughout the first half of 2021. SenseAware ID will eventually be made available for a broad range of premium FedEx Express services.”

Robert Carter, executive vice president and chief information officer at FedEx Corporation, added: “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.”

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