UPS using beacons to prevent package-loading errors


UPS is installing Bluetooth-enabled beacons on trucks to keep packages from being loaded onto the wrong vehicle -- and it’s applying for a patent for the system.

While UPS is known for delivering packages, it also thinks of itself as a technology company.

UPS says the beacons in its “Preload Smart Scan” system communicate via Bluetooth with scanners that UPS workers use when loading packages onto trucks.

Trucks are carefully loaded for drivers’ routes, and the scanners indicate where each package belongs on the truck.

If a package goes into the wrong vehicle, the beacon can detect the problem and notify the worker loading the package.

That can help reduce missed delivery deadlines and save time and money, according to UPS. Drivers with misloaded packages “often have to travel miles out of their way to correct the mistakes,” the company said.

UPS expects the beacons to reduce misloads by 70 percent.

The company plans to have the beacons installed at more than 300 of its locations in the United States this year, reaching 47 percent of its U.S. package trucks. It also plans to expand the technology to its international operations.

While “off-the-shelf” beacons had too broad of a signal to differentiate between trucks lined up next to each other during loading, UPS says it worked to get customized beacons with a tighter range and longer battery life.

The idea behind the patent application is that other companies may also be able to use the technology for loading vehicles or other functions.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cops: 13-year-old shot, killed in Clayton County home
Cops: 13-year-old shot, killed in Clayton County home

A 13-year-old boy was found Tuesday evening lying face-down and suffering from a gunshot wound inside a Riverdale home, Clayton County police said. Emergency services officials arrived at the Brookview Drive home to assess and treat the boy, but he died at the scene, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said.  Two days later police don&rsquo...
Police: Man drove into acquaintance after dispute, killed him
Police: Man drove into acquaintance after dispute, killed him

A man apparently drove into a longtime acquaintance on purpose after arguing with him and then left the scene, police said. The victim later died at Grady Memorial Hospital. Bruce Skrine, 58, was charged with vehicular homicide after the incident Wednesday night about 7:15 in the 20 block of Moreland Avenue, Atlanta police spokeswoman Stephanie Brown...
Officials: Atlanta rapper had 440 pounds of pot on private plane
Officials: Atlanta rapper had 440 pounds of pot on private plane

An Atlanta rapper connected to a federal raid in southwest Atlanta on Wednesday flew into the city last weekend with 440 pounds of marijuana — worth $840,000 — on a private plane, officials told Channel 2 Action News.  Terrell Davis, whose stage name is Ralo, faces two counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana after his arrest...
Invest Atlanta: $40k spent on Reed’s South Africa trip under review
Invest Atlanta: $40k spent on Reed’s South Africa trip under review

Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, voted Thursday to review a $40,000 payment that its nonprofit fundraising arm made to cover luxury airfare for former Mayor Kasim Reed and several of his staff on a trip to South Africa in 2017. The move came two days after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News...
2 KSU football players kicked off team after campus armed robbery
2 KSU football players kicked off team after campus armed robbery

Two Kennesaw State University football players have been dismissed from the team amid their alleged involvement in an on-campus armed robbery, according to school officials.  One of the athletes, Akebren Rall, is also accused of running an illegal gambling house, according to Cobb County jail records. Rall and teammate Jai’len Edwards were...
More Stories