Case Study: How Shipping With GPS Trackers Gives You a Big Advantage
Ever wonder where your package is, and wish the shipping carrier's customer service could actually help? For those with high-priority shipments, GPS trackers are a powerful tool — you can track a package’s exact location on a tarmac, in a warehouse, or on the grounds of any destination. One of our clients at Mercury is a perfect case study. Due to the high-value, high-priority nature of their packages, we recommended trackers. Here’s how it worked, and how you can benefit from the pinpoint accuracy of GPS tracking.
When trackers are a no-brainer
With constant flights, on routes crisscrossing the globe, passenger airlines are critical for time-sensitive shipping. But for a passenger airline, cargo is not priority number one. First, it’s passengers. Then passenger luggage. Then additional cargo (your package). In the process of flying thousands of people, luggage and cargo all over the world, they sometimes lose track. And if you need to locate and troubleshoot a lost or delayed package, airline customer service is not your most reliable ally.
Our client, a medical device company, transports valuable devices around the country. The client ships devices for use in Monday-morning surgeries — and that means contending with the often difficult nature of weekend shipping. In order to know precisely where their critical shipments were at all times, the client was looking for higher tracking visibility than any other shipping company offered. GPS trackers which show live location of each shipment on a map was exactly what they're looking for.
The visibility you need
At Mercury, we know where the risks of delays are when shipping with passenger airlines over the weekend. Too often, we see airline customer service giving inaccurate information — they say a package is in Nashville, for instance, when it’s really in Boston.
After landing, opportunities for mistakes arise. Packages are sometimes quickly transported to cargo warehouses. All airlines have cargo facilities, giant warehouses on the grounds of the airport. Some cargo shipments get sent to the cargo facility, others are sent to baggage claim. This depends on the airport, who’s working at that time, and whether cargo is open or not; and often these policies change at each airport.
With GPS, you don’t have to rely on the carrier's information. You can see exactly where your shipment is and proactively intervene, for example, when you see that a flight is leaving and the package is not on the flight.
In the satellite image of Chicago O’Hare below, you can see how massive and complex an airport can be. With a GPS tracker, you see how the package moves and the specific cargo warehouse it ends up in. This information is highly valuable if/when you’re talking to the carrier — you’ll have more detailed information than them.
GPS trackers cut out service when flying starts, due to airline regulations. But as you can see below, you know when it's on the flight and when it lands:
Once a package leaves an airport and into the hands of a courier, your tracker remains indispensable. Couriers are professionals, and most of the time, they do a fantastic job. However, in some small percent of scenarios the carriers can make a mistake. With one shipment for a medical device client, we monitored as the courier delivered the package — to the address across the street. GPS gave us the ability to intervene and correct the mistake before it caused a delay. The trackers also help when navigating the destination, such as a huge hospital complex. Having visibility can help the courier get there faster.
In the image below, a hospital complex in Milan, Italy, you can see the complexity of the destination, and the location of the package. GPS trackers help ensure your shipment gets to the exact building in a large facility such as a hospital.
Peace of mind
The last part of the experience is the easiest, because trackers are one and done. After your shipment is complete, the tracker is disposable. But the tracker’s biggest benefit to our client: peace of mind. They can pull the location up on their phone anytime and see it. Anytime you need an update or just feel like knowing where it is, you can check. You get a link to see where it is on a browser. In this case, the client didn’t even have to bother — Mercury’s experts were monitoring it, ready to proactively and effectively troubleshoot any issues that might arise.
Time-sensitive shipping can be a complex process. Mercury's team manages every aspect of the planning and execution, as well as proactively tracking high-priority weekend shipments. To learn more about Mercury's shipping options, contact our team and we'll be in touch shortly.