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Logistics

DropTag® allows the end customer to quickly verify if their parcel has been dropped in transit prior to signing for the item

DropTag for Logistics

The number of items we buy online and have delivered to our door is increasing year on year. We are probably all guilty of signing for a delivery (and in effect stating that we have received it in an acceptable condition) without thoroughly unpacking the goods – indeed to do so is usually wholly impractical in reality. The delivery firm would not appreciate waiting!

Parcel condition monitoring, particularly for mid to high-value assets, therefore represents a growing opportunity, not currently solved with any sort of connected sensor system. There are very expensive data loggers, typically used for items worth more than £1m. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, simple colour vials that 'pop' on impact but give you no information as to what has happened and when. DropTag fills the void.

Application

DropTag is different. By using our Bluetooth Smart sensor puck installed on or within the packaging, the customer could quickly verify if the parcel had been dropped in transit prior to signing for the item, simply by interrogating the puck with their smartphone.

Using Bluetooth Smart as the communication medium also potentially allows delivery firms to improve their own service. For example, delivery drivers could be equipped with their own Bluetooth Smart-ready devices so that the system

could automatically and proactively check the status of all the DropTag-enabled parcels in the van. This service enables the logistics company to be immediately aware of any potential damage event, and hence it has total accountability of the extended logistics chain. It can even inform the customer of the incident and offer suitable actions – for example, immediate reordering of the item, notifying the driver to allow the customer to visually check the parcel contents etc.

Benefit

Whatever the agreed action, DropTag provides immediate awareness of incidents prior to the parcel arriving at the customer's front door. Extended logistics could therefore not only enable tracking of the parcel as they do currently but also track and trace the condition of the parcel throughout its transit.

DropTag would provide a turnkey service to e-tailers, where the puck was inserted into the box prior to shipment, and interrogated independently to the logistics provider throughout transit. Alternatively, a delivery company could attach the DropTag puck onto the outer face of the parcel as part of its extended tracker service.

With our optimised battery management algorithm, we are targeting a battery life in excess of all known logistics use cases. The DropTag puck could be considered disposable.