Does FedEx Have GPS?
By Aaron Charles
FedEx serves residential and commercial customers in over 220 countries and territories, shipping over 10 million packages a day. With such global activity, it's no surprise that FedEx incorporates GPS technology into its services. But FedEx's GPS service isn't immediately available to all customers or shipments.
The GPS services FedEx offers differ from the general FedEx Tracking services the company has for the majority of its customers. FedEx's general tracking services rely mostly on barcodes, barcode scanners and a Web interface that customers can access. With such access, you can follow a package from scan point to scan point, either via a tracking, reference (such as an invoice or purchase order) or customer account number.
FedEx markets its GPS tracking technology as SenseAware, a service that integrates GPS technology with a Web platform. With SenseAware, FedEx places a GPS tracking device on or in a package. As the package travels, the device notes the package's location, the ambient temperature and whether someone has opened the package. Anyone with authorization can monitor the package's journey by logging into an account registered on SenseAware's website.
FedEx does not offer SenseAware to the bulk of its customers, instead making it available on a contract-only basis only. In spite of the contract requirements, FedEx representatives say that the SenseAware program is not restricted to large companies committed to heavy amounts of shipping and receiving. Early in the program's existence, only companies in the life sciences or healthcare industry could make use of SenseAware, but in 2012 FedEx began offering it to all industries.
Aside from using GPS for tracking packages, FedEx uses GPS technology to help customers locate FedEx locations in the U.S., though the FedEx Mobile app available for iOS and Android. The app uses a mobile phone's GPS capabilities to pinpoint where you are, and then uses that information to show where the nearest FedEx facilities are, as well as facility phone numbers, hours and services offered.
Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."