FedEx is using a Bluetooth tracking device for essentials like medicine

The Bluetooth-enabled device — which is roughly the size of a Tic Tac box — alleviates tracking woes.

A FedEx truck with the purple and orange logo is seen on a road.
RiverNorthPhotography/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

The average consumer appreciates certainty, especially when it comes to tracking their packages. You probably do, too. After buying an item online and receiving shipping confirmation from the vendor, you — like millions of other consumers — likely keep a feverish eye on where exactly your package is. FedEx understands this habit and is attempting to make delivery tracking a little easier thanks to a new Bluetooth tracking device for packages called SenseAware ID.

For now, the new tracking system is limited to medicine, vaccines, and other essential items. The executive vice president and chief information officer for the company, Robert B. Carter, explained the vision behind this logistics and tracking debut:

Package tracking and visibility are more important now than ever, as businesses have become increasingly reliant on timely deliveries. 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.

How does it work? — SenseAwareID relies on devices as small as a Tic Tac box and QR codes. Users can track their packages by signing up for updates via email or SMS. FedEx says thanks to the technology customers will have a chance to witness the "supply chain through real-time updates on a package's location within the FedEx Express network."


Time-apt and potentially life-saving — The launch of this tracking device comes at a particularly urgent time with COVID-19 impacting and even delaying deliveries around the world. For a company like FedEx — which has delivered an average of six million packages on a daily basis in the fiscal year of 2020 — sticking a tracking device on medication, vaccines, and other medical items will provide customers with a sense of relief and certainty in otherwise uncertain times.

Especially when it comes to medicine — which is often a matter of life and death — SenseAware ID can help patients or care providers work out precisely when items will arrive.

Wider rollout coming — For now, the tracker is intended to help the "healthcare, aerospace, and retail industries," but FedEx has some good news for the rest of us: "SenseAware ID will eventually be made available for a broad range of premium FedEx Express services," it says.