Abstract ESRI GIS technologies are being used at FedEx Express to solve complex business problems in both the planning and execution of the daily delivery process. The application of spatial data at FedEx is unique in that it is being used to support several mission critical, multi user applications and processes worldwide. Spatial data is being implemented within the organization for use in decision making for the routing and scheduling of thousands of pickup and delivery vehicles on a daily basis. It is aimed at minimizing costs such as mileage, overtime of workforce, efficient routing, and effective delivery methods, leading to higher productivity and greater customer satisfaction. The dynamic nature of the daily execution as a business problem, when coupled with the analysis of historical events, GIS spatial data, customer data, and resource information can predict best practices for delivery methods and increased productivity.
Introduction FedEx uses a map based system to support planning and operations activities for the on road pickup and delivery operations within the Express operating company. Planners who operate locally and with local knowledge build route plans which guide every stage of the operation from sorting the inbound freight to loading the vans, to driving the routes. Route plans are designed using GIS along with business specific optimization methods which work together to allow the planners to test the durability of their route plans to accommodate package volumes which may fluctuate higher or lower than those actually planned for. GIS tools are used to display routes on the map and overlay stops on top of those routes. The system calculates and displays statistics based on how those stops and packages relate to routes and then provides editing tools that allow the users to equalize stop and package volume across routes. One of the keys to successful use of GIS in this system is simplicity in how GIS is implemented. There are no complex business rules or analysis within the GIS tools. The user interface is task driven through menus that guide the user progressively through the planning tasks and expose these tasks via an easy to use web application and ArcMap based user interface. Complex analysis is off boarded to asynchronous algorithms using HTTP level communication. A separation of the planning system and the operational system also exists such that once the plan is complete, validated and tested as ‘ready for production’, it is loaded in a state where operational systems can access and read it using normal database queries that forego time consuming GIS analysis. Web browser based mapping tools are also available for non editing views of route planning data. These tools were built using the ArcGIS Server
ESRI 2010 International User Conference
Java ADF and are available to a wider group of high level users than the local plan building experts who use the desktop tool to build plans. This paper presents this FedEx planning system from an implementation perspective by describing the architecture on which it is deployed and the methods that were used to construct it. We also describe major considerations for a system such as this which must communicate with other applications that do not employ GIS concepts and have no knowledge of GIS constructs. Finally, we will describe challenges moving forward from a platform perspective. Rich client capabilities were only available in a Desktop format when this development effort was begun, however the advancement of Web APIs and rich functionality through runtime plug ins like Flash and Silverlight provide an opportunity to simplify the field deployment architectures for similar applications in the future. 1.0 Goals and objectives for planning FedEx Express is...