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February 16th, 2003

Enhancing Package Tracking

This past week, one of my coworkers was anxiously awaiting a package via Airborne Express. He used their online tracking feature to see where the package was, and Friday, it was listed as being in Chicago. Of course, Chicago is a big city – and thus, it could really be anywhere.

When you’re really waiting for a package, though, you might get a little antsy. He had a great idea for an enhancement to package tracking: add a GPS system to each truck, and show the user exactly where the package is. “Hey! My delivery is on State and Wabash!”

Useful? Somewhat, sure. To make it even cooler, show the entire journey of the package on a map. Then you can see that, for some reason, your package went through Akron and Dayton.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: brown blood
DATE: Sunday February 16, 2003 -- 8:06:54 pm
i believe ups already has gps installed on their delivery trucks (they call 'em "package cars). they've installed gps not so much as a customer feature enhancement, but to be able to make sure their drivers are where they say they are. ups is verrrrry particular how drivers are spending their time, down to how long a driver should take to honk their horn. with 60,000+ package cars on the road, a savings of 1/2 second per driver per day adds up to some serious $$$$. they also made it so the driver can step into the package car, sit down and apply the seat belt with one hand and start the car with the other hand simultaneously to save on time. probably more info than anyone cares about.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday February 17, 2003 -- 2:18:20 am
Yeah I did some work for UPS. They are pretty big brother when it comes to that stuff. Some ultra-conservative hicks from the south started the company I believe.

FROM: Greg C
DATE: Tuesday February 18, 2003 -- 6:24:59 pm
I work for a company that does nationwide freight shipping, and each and every one of our trucks has a tracking system that not only will show us where it is right down to the square foot, but has instant messaging built into them.

You can be assured that ALL the shipping companies have GPS systems, but don't think for a minute they WANT their customers to know where their trucks are down to that level.

Think about it... a package is guaranteed to arrive by UPS ground by, say, Friday, and today is Tuesday. Traffic was light and the truck arrives on Thursday morning. You really think they want the customer knowing that they regularly arrive a day before they promise the package?

It goes out on the same truck as the others but they hold onto the package because you didn't pay them more for the convenience.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday March 6, 2006 -- 10:43:39 am
I'm pleased to report that thanks to Google Maps and a crafty programmer, the future has arrived.

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