Executive Briefings

UPS Adds Beacons to Handle Package Misloads

UPS is installing electronic beacons in its package cars to notify workers if they have placed an item in the wrong delivery vehicle. The initiative, known as Preload Smart Scan, is part of a suite of UPS projects that will use technology to error-proof package processing operations to ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

Preload Smart Scan uses Bluetooth-enabled beacons that communicate with package-scanning devices worn by UPS employees loading packages onto vehicles. The scanners, which read package labels, are programmed to know where a package belongs in a specific vehicle. The beacons, meanwhile, send signals that are unique to certain vehicles and their position within the vehicle. The scanners detect those signals. If a package enters the wrong vehicle, the scanner will notify the loader of the error.

Misloaded packages waste time and money and can cause UPS to miss its service commitments. Drivers with misloaded packages on board often have to travel miles out of their way to correct the mistakes. But, in locations where the beacons are installed, UPS already is avoiding miles driven to re-route misloaded packages.

“This is an important step toward improving accuracy in our operation,” said John Dodero, UPS’s vice president of industrial engineering. “It raises the level of service we provide to our customers. It also makes us more efficient and generates valuable cost savings.”

Preload Smart Scan is one of several projects under the UPS EDGE (Enhanced Dynamic Global Execution) program, which uses data and technology to enhance operations inside the company’s facilities and on delivery routes. It aids planning and execution and enables better decisions throughout the company’s operations.

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Preload Smart Scan uses Bluetooth-enabled beacons that communicate with package-scanning devices worn by UPS employees loading packages onto vehicles. The scanners, which read package labels, are programmed to know where a package belongs in a specific vehicle. The beacons, meanwhile, send signals that are unique to certain vehicles and their position within the vehicle. The scanners detect those signals. If a package enters the wrong vehicle, the scanner will notify the loader of the error.

Misloaded packages waste time and money and can cause UPS to miss its service commitments. Drivers with misloaded packages on board often have to travel miles out of their way to correct the mistakes. But, in locations where the beacons are installed, UPS already is avoiding miles driven to re-route misloaded packages.

“This is an important step toward improving accuracy in our operation,” said John Dodero, UPS’s vice president of industrial engineering. “It raises the level of service we provide to our customers. It also makes us more efficient and generates valuable cost savings.”

Preload Smart Scan is one of several projects under the UPS EDGE (Enhanced Dynamic Global Execution) program, which uses data and technology to enhance operations inside the company’s facilities and on delivery routes. It aids planning and execution and enables better decisions throughout the company’s operations.

Read Full Article