FedEx is launching a sensor-based device the company says will provide real-time tracking updates for future COVID-19 vaccine shipments and other sensitive orders.

SenseAware ID will track a package’s location with FedEx Express’ network. The lightweight device’s sensor transmits location data every two seconds. It does this through Bluetooth Low Energy technology to Wi-Fi access points or gateway devices in FedEx Express’ network, FedEx said in a news release.

The result: Packages are tracked hundreds of times instead of dozens of times, providing real-time data traditional methods can’t match, according to FedEx.

“Package tracking and visibility are more important now than ever, as businesses have become increasingly reliant on timely deliveries,” said FedEx Chief Information Officer Rob Carter in a statement. “Created by our innovation teams at FedEx, SenseAware ID was designed to give our customers the precise level of tracking they’ve been looking for, enabling them to optimize their supply chains and make any necessary adjustments during the journey of their shipments.”

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SenseAware ID is particularly useful for customers in the health care industry that require temperature-controlled shipments, the release said. The Memphis-based logistics giant said the technology “is expected to play a critical role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines using the FedEx First Overnight service, helping ensure these sensitive shipments are delivered quickly and safely.”

SenseAware ID sensors will first be used for First Overnight shipments within FedEx Express’ U.S. domestic network. A round of health care, aerospace and retail industry customers will receive SenseAware data access in November, FedEx said.

The company plans to expand data access to more customers in the first half of 2021, with SenseAware ID eventually being “available for a broad range of premium FedEx Express services,” it said.

This story will be updated.

Max Garland covers FedEx, logistics and health care for The Commercial Appeal. Reach him at [email protected] or 901-529-2651 and on Twitter @MaxGarlandTypes.

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