ParcelCall

An open architecture for intelligent tracing solutions in Transport & Logistics

The objective of ParcelCall was to realise an intelligent end-to-end tracking and tracing solution across all borders of carrier and transportation modes. It draws on emerging technologies, e.g., radio frequency identification (RFID), and public data communication networks to develop the system and verify the application in a realistic business context. Standard mobile phones are used, any time and anywhere, to get near real-time tracing information along the complete logistic chain.

The approach distinguishes three levels with increasing performance, flexibility, and scalability:
A: Development of an open tracking and tracing architecture across the complete logistic chain.
B: Integration of active sensors, providing the means to monitor and control environmental conditions and quality status of transport goods.

C: Incorporation of communicating sensors providing alert messages directly to the goods owner if environmental conditions deviate from their default ranges.

The ParcelCall project is driven by two scenarios, 2003 and 2008. In scenario 2003, passive radio tags are attached to individual transport items. Static information like identity, sender, and destination address is transmitted to a tag reader upon transhipping. In scenario 2008, active radio tags are combined with sensors to measure environmental data like temperature, humidity, or acceleration.

Independent of transportation mode or carrier the ParcelCall system can notify a freight owner when unexpected conditions occur. Such properties are achieved by building a distributed system, where the constituents are the intelligent packet objects that communicate with each other and with the backbone system via invocation messages. More advanced, economically well suited networks have contributed to the communication subsystem such as Bluetooth for short-range and the cellular GPRS (General Package Radio Service) for long-range communication.
 
For more information: 
http://www.transport-research.info/Upload/Documents/201103/20110310_113342_47536_ParcelCall%20-%20FinalReport.pdf

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