The main input of the UPS’s package tracking system is the scannable-bar coded label which is attached to a package. Customers can download and print their own labels using special software provided by UPS or by accessing the UPS website. This scannable label contains detailed information about the sender, the destination of the package, the recipient, and when the package should arrive.
Before the package is even picked up, the data from the scannable bar coded label is transmitted to one of UPS’s computer centers in Mahwah, New Jersey, or Alpharetta, Georgia and sent to the distribution center nearest its final destination. Dispatchers at this center download the data from the label and use special software to create the most efficient delivery route for each driver that considers traffic, the weather, and the location of each stop.
A handheld computer called a Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD) , enables UPS drivers to download his or her day’s route. The DIAD also automatically captures customers’ signatures as well as pickup and delivery information. Package tracking information is then transmitted to UPS’s computer network for storage and processing. At various points along the route from sender to receiver, bar code devices are used to scan shipping information on the package label and feed data about the progress of the package into the central computer.
The information on the UPS computer network can then be accessed worldwide to provide delivery information to customers or to respond to customer queries. Customer service representatives are able to check the status of any package from desktop computers linked to the central computers and respond immediately to customer enquiries.
UPS customers are able to access this information from the company’s website using their own computers or wireless devices such as cell phones.
Thus, the UPS website provides information which enables packages to be...