Internet of Postal Things: Can I live-track my parcel?

In summary, yes, new technology could make this possible and (importantly) cost-effective.

Most parcels are tracked using 1970’s technology, i.e. the humble barcode, however applying smarter tags is also nothing new when you consider trials with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and sensor tags that measure temperature, handling shocks etc.  Both these concepts have been used in specific applications.  RFID enables you to read and write data to the tagged parcel when it moves through a specific handling centre or manually with a hand-held device.  The sensor-tag approach is used for sensitive shipments that must be temperature controlled or perhaps are fragile – the sensors on-board enable you to see measurements of a parcel journey, however only afterwards, not live. A new initiative is now forming that comprises low-cost tags, low power communication and the opening up of new transmission frequencies to enable live data communication between tag and network.

Prime Competence is already working on projects with posts on these new possibilities – so why not call us to find out more.   A key enabler here is the bi-directional network capability and the driving force are LPWAN technologies (Low Power Wide Area Network) such as LoRa that form the basis of many new projects.  So, yes, live tracking of parcels across the country, across the world, could soon be a benefit of these new capabilities; however there are many more compelling business cases to talk about as well!

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