È quella stringa di numeri e caratteri che ci permette di seguire una spedizione minuto per minuto. Oggi è qualcosa di familiare, ma quarant'anni fa fu introdotta come una rivoluzione.
Roberto Baldwin racconta quella straordinaria idea nata alla FedEx, allora Federal Express, su Wired. Il tracking number.
One of FedEx's great contributions was the tracking number, which has become a standard in shipping. By entering a numeric string into FedEx.com, you can find out exactly where your package is as it works it way toward you. It's immensely convenient, but that is but a pleasant side-effect. The tracking number was initially an internal process for quality control.
The system, launched in the late 1970s, was created to improve efficiencies. It worked so well that, in 1979, the system was offered to customers as COSMOS (Customers, Operations and Services Master Online System). When the system went online it included early prototypes of handheld computers that scanned package barcodes with wands. FedEx was aware that of the importance of all this data. FedEx founder Fred Smith is famous for saying, "The information about the package is as important as the package itself."