GPS technology in logistics in 2019
We take GPS for granted now. But if you think about the technology, it’s remarkable – especially if you remember trying to look at paper maps or printouts of directions while you were driving … or pestering your passenger for faster answers to your questions on exactly where and when to turn. Organs for transplant have been shipped across long distances since the 1970s. Can you imagine the pressure of shipping human organs with a map instead of a GPS while on a tight deadline? It must've been stress-inducing, to say the least.
What does GPS stand for?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites orbiting the Earth. Originally developed by the U.S. government for military navigation, access to those satellites, and the accurate positioning they provide through wireless locating, are available free of charge. All you need is a smart phone, and basically everyone has one these days. These receivers pick up the signals from the satellites – at least four are visible at any time, any place on Earth – and use the position of the satellites to calculate its location. From there, mapping enables the GPS to calculate the best directions to our destination.
Using GPS in logistics
As helpful as this technology has been for drivers and pedestrians walking to the nearest Starbucks, it is also indispensable now in the logistics industry, even more so in the time-critical space. Especially for companies that specialize in delivering critical items such as blood getting shipped to be tested. GPS is necessary in healthcare logistics because it:
- Gives dispatchers more accurate location information, which can then be relayed automatically to the companies shipping items and to those awaiting the shipment – such as doctors waiting on a specimen to operate on a patient.
- Lets dispatchers know if drivers are deviating from route, a possible indication that there are traffic problems or other issues that dispatchers can help deal with.
- Enables drivers and dispatchers to avoid traffic and save time.
How Airspace Utilizes GPS technology
Because GPS technology is so easily accessible to all of us, it would be easy to assume that all shippers and logistics companies pretty much use it the same way, and are able to take full advantage of it. That’s reasonable but sadly incorrect. The secret sauce is being able to integrate all the information the GPS provides into the logistic company’s IT system, and then to be able to make sure shippers and customers can access that information in real-time, on any device they prefer from desktop, laptop, phone, or even Alexa.
Not every logistics company is able to do that. In fact, most can’t. Shipping and logistics companies must be technology forward. Their ideology must be built around technology and be able to pivot when new advancements in the industry occur – bringing its benefits to customers before the competition.
That’s what makes Airspace Technologies unique. When you add great people to great technology, it’s an unbeatable combination.