Real-time Package Tracking

Radio frequency identification

When someone orders an item online, one of the most important details sent at the end of the transaction is a package tracking number. This unique identification code offers shoppers the opportunity to follow their eagerly anticipated items as they make their way to doorsteps across America. While a measure of visibility is offered by a tracking number, the offer is only as valid as the last scan of the package. A different type of tracking method could offer a continually updated location that represents the next evolution of visibility.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags are employed in many applications world-wide. They’re used to track animals, library books, and even people in certain circumstances, and can even contain information necessary to conduct financial transactions. They can also be used to track packages.

Packages contain the hopes, desires, and needs of those who send and receive them. To more efficiently track the whereabouts of these precious items, an RFID tag could be offered as a purchase option for individuals who wish to have up-to-the-second visibility of their package. A small, paper-thin RFID chip can be encoded and printed on a sticker, placed on a package, and the unique tag code provided to the purchaser. The cost of the label can vary depending on the type purchased, but there are many model types that cost less than $1.

The cost of the tag itself isn’t the only consideration, however, as the equipment needed to detect the tags would have to be installed in facilities and vehicles throughout the delivery organization. The initial cost of developing and installing tracking mechanisms could be prohibitive to many organizations, but may yield significant financial advantages in the years afterward.

In a world where more people are switching to the convenience and diversified experience of online shopping every year, those shippers that offer the greatest experience for their customers will the ones poised to become the providers of choice by eager customers.

What obstacles do you see that might interfere with the universal adoption of real-time package tracking technology?

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2 Comments

  1. grannybunny

     /  January 16, 2015

    This seems like overkilll. I don’t think the additional costs of the receptors and transmitters required to provide this information are justified by the perceived benefits.

  2. Anonymous

     /  January 16, 2015

    I bet it would certainly cost the consumer more than a $1.00, but I am sure other shipping competitors are looking at it too, so if they do it, so must we! So we just as well be the first!

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