IoT-tracking will give Posten control of their parcel cages

The IoT-trackers are developed by IntSpo AS and connected to Telenor's NarrowBand IoT-net (NB-IoT).

Background for the project: 22,000 parcel cages sometimes create headaches for Posten and Bring. It is in such specially designed cages that your parcels are shipped from the post terminals out to the Post Offices and Post in Store. The challenge is to have enough free parcel cages at the right time, especially in the Post's "rush hour".

IntSpo presents the solution
Posten Norway talks about the project`s background

- During Christmas rush last year, there was such a large lack of packing cages in some areas that we had to switch to a cardboard solution. These cardboard cages can withstand much less and do not have as much capacity, says Alexander Haneng, director of digital innovation in Posten and Bring.

Now Posten and Bring will face the challenge. The company has good experience with innovative thinking, and in collaboration with IntSpo, they will test out unique digital tracking devices that are mounted on the package container.

The cages of Posten and Bring must report where they are and have been. Unique tracking devices can provide huge savings and better services to customers.

The goal is to have fewer cages by being able to make sure that the cages are in the right place at the right time.

Towards a solution with NB-IoT and IntSpo's technology

It is not that there are too few parcel cages, but they are often in the wrong place. The cages can be left in a terminal, warehouse or store where they can be very difficult to track. Each cage costs several thousand kroners in purchases.

The smart and efficient tracking units used by Posten and Bring have been developed by Intspo AS and are equipped with GPS tracking and connected to Telenor's NarrowBand IoT network (NB-IoT). With high frequency they send information up to the cloud. NB-IoT uses Telenor's 4G signals with a 99.4 per cent population coverage and fits well with the assignment.

- This gives us the opportunity to track the cages at any time. We can bring up all the cages on a map where their position is updated continuously and we can also see where they have been, says Haneng, adding:

- That's why the NarrowBand IoT is so suitable. It has good coverage throughout the country and requires very little power.

NB-IoT network features allow the tracking devices to save power by hibernating when not transmitting information. In addition, they use lower bandwidth than usual 4G, which provides coverage even in large warehouses with thick walls.

Watch Posten's video about the project

The smart tracking units are mounted on the package cage. The units send information on Telenor's NB-IoT-net which provides good coverange, even in big storehouses (video: Telenor).

Culture for innovation

Posten and Bring are constantly looking for new areas where they can use tracking. Previously, they have GPS tracking on 800 shipping containers, as well as Norway's largest radio frequency identification network (so-called RFID) - small chips that are equipped with antennas and can communicate via radio signals.

Alexander Haneng says there are three reasons why they now choose to test out NarrowBand IoT.

- Firstly, we want to gain experience with the new mobile network. We also want to inspire internally at Posten and Bring, and show what opportunities exist with NarrowBand IoT. This is also a good opportunity to build on the innovation culture we have in the company.

In recent years, the company has proven itself a leader of innovation.

During the Arendal week, The Minister of Transport and Communications at the time, Ketil Solvik-Olsen had the honor of receiving the first letter delivered by the world's first self-propelled letter and parcel machine. Posten and Bring also work with Oslo University Hospital to test out the delivery of blood samples and other important materials with the help of flying drones.

IoT-sensor from IntSpo mounted on one of Posten's parcelcages:

The smart tracking devices are mounted on the package cages. The units send information on Telenor's NB-IoT network which provides good coverage, even in large warehouse buildings.

About IntSpo

IntSpo is a Norwegian technology company that digitizes physical assets with IoT (internet of things). We provide IoT solutions with advanced tracking and sensor technologies which provides optimized management and operation of physical assets. With insight into available and future technology IntSpo can deliver effective solutions designed for each customer's needs.
Visit our website and follow us on Linkedin and Facebook.

This case was originally published February 7, 2019.