In a former life I worked for a logistics company which is now owned by FedEx and this brings back some memories and is also very a very interesting innovation for those involved in transporting Life Sciences cargo, which can vary in content from being lab samples to supplies, etc. At some point in time we all have to rely on common carriers for sending and receiving good and high value medical/life science cargo usually pays top dollar and demands priority, simply due to the fact that it is science and healthcare related, time and condition sensitive. I am always amazed with FedEx and their innovation as they seem to wait for nobody and forge ahead and I’ll still remember the day years ago in the Airbus simulator I had a number of years ago, being able to experience simulation in what now might be called the “early days”.
You can read through the text here and it’s not hard to figure out how useful the SenseAware technology will be, especially if you were say in Israel and making a time sensitive shipment to the US, it could be material needed for clinical trials for a simple example. We are getting to the end of dry ice days it appears as better methodologies are being used by various companies too. You can read more here on what FedEx and Cryport are doing in this effort and an earlier post from this year with a message from Fred Smith, the CEO, speaking of current times and the plans for the future for FedEx.
Just as a side note of information, did you know you can use Twitter to track your FedEx packages? This is a post from last year and the services through Twitter has been around for a while now.
Once the SenseAware program gets moving it will allow both parties to see the real time status and condition of the shipment. This will be interesting as well as it would seem to also involve some type of notification process to for the pilots of the aircraft too when shipments using the technology are on board. Some of the aircraft flown by FedEx, namely the MD-11 jets already are assisted with Tablet PCs that take over many of the functions that used to be done manually. A flight plan is loaded and just finding airport (JEPPS) maps is accomplished much easier with a computer and I remember way back helping someone file all of those, I had the filing end of that chore. Lately there has been some bad press about notebooks in the cockpit, but there are legitimate and aviation functions where they are needed and that area will grow.
This will be interesting to follow and see how the new tracking device works! Again, we can always seem to look to FedEx for setting the pace for others to follow and those high value shipments relating to Science and Healthcare will be right on the mark. BD
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), today announced SenseAwareSM powered by FedEx, a next generation, first-of-its-kind information service that combines a GPS sensor device and a web-based collaboration platform. Developed by the FedEx innovation team, SenseAware will provide increased access to information between business partners and customers to aid in the management of supply chain interactions and will target the life sciences industry at launch.
Available in the spring of 2010, SenseAware is an open, highly adaptive and easy-to-use sensor information sharing platform. It is a multi-modal solution that will serve customers who desire near real-time visibility and insight into their shipments. SenseAware will provide business decision makers the ability to quickly and easily collaborate on many types of information data across their global supply chain.
A SenseAware device riding with a FedEx shipment can provide the following information:
- Precise temperature readings
- A shipment's exact location
- When a shipment is opened or if the contents have been exposed to light
- Real-time alerts and analytics between trusted parties regarding the above vital signs of a shipment
SenseAware can be easily adopted as it does not require a costly software installation, infrastructure or large managed-service commitments. The added flexibility of the SenseAware device enables it to be used for single shipments or in large palletized shipments.
Available in 2010, SenseAware will initially target the health care and life sciences industry. SenseAware was created through intensive research and beta-testing with customers within those industries. Pilot customers immediately recognized the benefits of the technology during an internal testing phase and realized the potential to shorten inventory turnaround time on closed loop shipments by having complete inbound visibility to all shipments.
By providing extensive aggregated data shipment information, the technology will help life science customers comply with audits and quality checks, which occur regularly on such highly regulated products, For example, within the industry, many shipments must remain within a specified ambient or cold-chain temperature range to be effective for use in patient care. By having the correct and necessary data, users can make the proper business decisions to replenish or make other arrangements to meet the business requirement.