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The Logistics of Asset Tracking

on Monday, 19 November 2012. Posted in Tracking Logistics, In-Load Cargo Tracking

Using FedEx to Efficiently Retrieve GPS Trackers

The challenge is one way shipments. You want to track high value shipments, but will not be at the destination to retrieve the tracker for its next assignment. You also may be using an independent shipper to manage the transportation task, further adding to the retrieval complexity.FedEx Shipper with enclosed PT300 GPS Tracker

GPSit’s PT300 trackers are designed to be covertly deployed, perhaps within the shipment itself or accompanying the shipment manifest. In this scenario, the client was worried less about theft and more about the timeliness of delivery, so attachment to the manifest was the best solution. With over 200 shipments per day, the client required a repeatable, reliable solution.

Here is how it works. It starts with some inexpensive cardboard, polystyrene sheets, Duck Tape, clear shipping tape and Federal Express “Letter” shipment envelopes. Although I don’t have an actual constuction diagram, you can see the task at hand here:

The construction is fairly simply:FedEx Shipper Modified for holding PT300

  • Cut a polystyrene sheet to fit comfortably inside the FedEx envelope.
  • Cut out a rectangle the same size as the Tracker in the middle
  • Cut two sheets of cardboard the same size as the polystyrene sheets.
  • On one sheet of cardboard, cut a small hole large enough to expose the PT300’s light sensor. This is only needed if package opening detection is needed.
  • One the second sheet of cardboard, make a “trap-door” large enough to pull open and insert the PT300 tracker. Use the Duck Tape to make a small handle.
  • Use shipment tape to assemble the “insert” into one solid piece.
  • Cut a second “trap-door” on the outside of the FedEx envelope, this one 1” larger than the PT300 tracker inset, and a small “window hole” aligned with the light sensor location.
  • Insert the cardboard insert inside the FedEx envelop, ensuring proper alignment, tape the secure all components into one “reusable assembly”.

The PT300 should fit securely inside the cardboard and in it’s polystyrene “cradle”.FedEx Shipper with PT300 Inserted

Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to turn out these “shippers” quickly and inexpensively. From here it’s a simple task to insert the fully charged PT300 tracker, use shipment tape to secure the trap doors closed, and put your shipment tracker to work!

Due to the large number of shipments, additional efficiency was gained by “pre-charging” spare batteries to allow for quick turnaround.

Let us know if we can help you think through your shipment tracking logistics and or answer questions about our high performance asset trackers.

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