Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FedEx - GPS Fleet Tracking Complaint

I don't usually complain on this forum, however, this time my complaint is about GPS Fleet Tracking.

I ordered a new laptop computer the other day. I was efficiently notified that the manufacturer received my order. I was efficiently notified that the order was shipped from the warehouse. I was efficiently notified that it arrived here in Boise, Idaho. I was efficiently notified it was on the delivery van at 9:03 AM. Up to this point all is good, efficient and professional, however, once my laptop was placed in the delivery van I am simply given a 6 hour window for delivery and I am required to be here. I have no idea if I can run down to Starbucks and grab a Mocha. How uncivilized is FedEx?

Six hours is a big window. Some people are actually important and have jobs that require them to move around. Doesn't it seem reasonable that FedEx could narrow the window and post their expected delivery time within 1 hour perhaps? Don't they have GPS fleet tracking on their vans? Couldn't they notify me when they are within 1 hour of delivery. Perhaps they can then update me every 15 minutes. OK, perhaps I am just hyper, but we know that the technology is there to provide more accurate delivery windows than 6 hours.

What if we could actually see where the delivery van was going to be? Perhaps use LBS (location based services) to notify all customers that the van was nearing. Perhaps we could drive to a scheduled location and meet the delivery van. It would save FedEx time and fuel. I am sure there are many reasons not to give crazy people like me the exact location of their vans, but a 6 hour window???

What are your thoughts and comments?

Email Contact: Info@L2DataCollection.com


  1. I just had this conversation today with one of our prospects in Ireland, where apparently deliveries are on the rise, even for groceries. It's becoming a prevalent subject. The main issue is not where the vehicle is (AVL alone), but CRM systems: what the scheduled delivery route is, changes that take place, traffic, other various factors that can affect the delivery time. In addition to that, they'd have to develop a system by which the user has access to the RT route plan as it plays out. The infrastructure would be very complicated -- but possible. I'm sure that if Fedex or DHL or any delivery service felt it was important (or that YOUR time was important) it could be implemented tomorrow.

  2. Great Article! I have installed these same products (GPS) for AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast just to name a few. (Although they are not delivery companies, they are service companies.) Yet They still can not give customers better than a four hour window. HUH???
    But, if my people are late to service their vehicles all heck breaks loose, so to speak.
    Perhaps their time is more important than ours. Too funny.

  3. I totally agree, I would be delightred to supply them a system, any contacts I will get intouch.

  4. Good article and very reasonalbe expectation from the consumer point of view. This feature can be easily implemented.
    1) FedEx pretty much calculate the delivery route. yes there will be few on-demand pickups, unpexpected traffic or other delays, but usually very small difference. So FedEx can easily give an estimation within 1hr.
    2) They can even allow customer to setup a geofence and altert them automatically when the FedEx van enters that site.

    The second options seems technical but the end user application interface is very simple somthing like "alert me just 1hr before"...

    -Guna Govind

  5. There is no way that anyone would want everybody, including their customers, to know where their trucks are. This will make them a sure target for hijacking.

    Your other ideas are reasonable though.

  6. Since, over time, they accumulate multiple delivery times for almost all destinations along their routes, calculating average times between a truck's location and any particular delivery destination is a trivial matter. As it happens, I am now waiting for a FedEx delivery that could happen anytime today. I don't need to know exactly where the truck is, just that it is likely to arrive in less than 60 minutes....or 4 hours from now! The airlines and online travel sites send SMS messages and phone messages. But it seems the major shippers haven't heard about these (not so) new technologies.

  7. I am a FedEx Driver. There are literally hundreds of variables in my working day which change my route.

  8. My husband is a mailman, so if you knew the driver's cell phone number you could call him and he'd tell you where he's at. Yes, they should have something more accurate like that. Going through that today. Expecting a tv and needs signature, dont want to have to drive to facility to pick it up - dont have time.

  9. I call my husband while he's on his route - the mailman - and ask him what time he thinks he will be home and he can give me a window of 2 hours or less, and if something changes than it's still within a 2 hour window of time. Even if he has a lot of parcels especially around Christmas time.

  10. A fleet management company is used to improve productivity and cut costs. GPS fleet tracking can be applied to logistics, multi-drop delivery and haulage. Thank you for sharing that info.

  11. Hey Kevin, I totally agree. It would be great to be able to view our orders being shipped in real-time. In fact, there is some great IT asset tracking software out there that can be used to accomplish this. I'm hoping that FedEx and other companies out there will consider using these solutions in the future to provide real-time shipment tracking for customers. Would definitely add value for both FedEx and the end customer.

  12. A fleet management company is used to improve productivity and reduce costs. GPS fleet tracking can be applied to logistics, multi-drop delivery and transportation.