Where’s My Mail, Comrade? Russian Post Spends $17M to Find Out [Sorta]
About a month ago I sent three packages to a friend in Russia, two of which have not yet showed up. As it turns out, I can’t to track packages once they cross into the motherland (unless you use courier service) and can only hope they arrive at some point in the future. Not only does the Russian Post not know the location of my packages, but they can’t locate their delivery trucks either. As a piece of good news, the latter is about to change.
Back in May 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree officially providing open access to the civilian navigation signals of the GLONASS GPS. Last week, almost exactly three years later, Navigation Information Systems (NIS) won the contract to outfit Russian Post vehicle fleet with GLONASS GPS navigation terminals. This marks an important milestone for the industry as it is the first Federal contract of its kind.
The contract amount hasn’t been officially confirmed, but it is believed to be around $17M (530M Rubles). Over the next two years, NIS will install GPS terminals on 10,000 trucks and deploy 300 control stations in 84 post office branches. The integration is expected to start within the next few weeks.
The Russian Post is expecting to increase the efficiency of it’s fleet and reach up to 20% savings within the first year. The system is expected to pay for itself within the first 20 months, saving about $12M (388M Rubles) annually. More on this here, here and here.
Let’s hope this is the first step to enabling package tracking.
Update: All packages have arrived even without GPS!