DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE REAL-TIME PARCEL TRACKING AND MONITORING SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIAN POSTAL SERVICE [NIPOST])


DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE REAL-TIME PARCEL TRACKING AND MONITORING SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIAN POSTAL SERVICE [NIPOST])

ABSTRACT:     

Have you ever been to a postal service station to pick a package and was told its yet to arrive or the package has been processed but yet to be dispatch. These are occurrences we wish we can control and track our packages right from the dispatch station

This project focuses on solving the problem by developing an application to solve the problem inherent to real-time parcel tracking and monitoring in Nigeria, using Nigeria Postal Service(NIPOST). The Real-Time Parcel Tracking and MonitoringApplication is a web-based application intended to be accessible online. This allows the application to be available to both mobile phone and PC users who can access this application online. The system was developed using open source web technologies notably HTML, PHP, JAVASCRIPT and MySQL.

The system produced in this research work has functions that will enable both the receiver and sender of various packages to track and monitor their packages with ease from the comfort of their homes, offices, market using a web enable device.

The developed application was tested using the WAMP application suite and the test results show that the application works as expected.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Certification………………………………………………………………………………..i

Dedication…………………………………………………………………………….…….ii

Acknowledgement …………………………………………………………………………iii

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………..iv

Table of contents…………………………………………………………………………….v

CHAPTER ONE    1

1.0    INTRODUCTION    1

1.1    BACKGROUND OF STUDY    2

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM    2

1.3    AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY    2

1.3.1    AIM    2

1.3.2    OBJECTIVES    2

1.4         SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY    3

1.5    SCOPE OF THE STUDY    3

1.6    LIMITATION OF STUDY    3

1.7    GLOSSARY OF TERMS    4

CHAPTER TWO    5

LITERATURE REVIEW    5

2.0    INTRODUCTION    5

2.1    PARCEL TRACKING    5

2.2    HISTORY OF TRACKING    5

2.3    ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC PARCEL TRACKING    6

2.4    DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC PARCEL TRACKING    6

2.5    DESCRIPTION FLOW OF PARCEL TRACKING DIAGRAM    7

2.6    HISTORY OF THE CASE STUDY    8

2.7    ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE OF THE CASESTUDY    9

CHAPTER THREE    10

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY    10

3.0    INTRODUCTION    10

3.1    OVERVIEW OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM    10

3.2    PROBLEM OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM    11

3.3    OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED SYSTEM    11

3.4    SYSTEM DESCRIPTION ANALYSIS AND DEFINATION    12

3.4.1    LANGUAGE JUSTIFICATION    12

3.5    SYSTEM DESIGN    13

3.5.1     OUTPUT DESIGN    13

3.5.2      INPUT DESIGN    13

3.5.3    SYSTEM FLOWCHART    15

3.5.4    ENTITY RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAM    16

CHAPTER FOUR    17

SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION AND TESTING    17

4.0    INTRODUCTION    17

4.1    SYSTEM SPECIFICATION    17

4.1.1    HARDWARE REQUIREMENT:    17

4.1.2    SOFTWARE REQUIREMENT:    18

4.2    SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION    18

4.2.1    USER MANUAL    19

4.2.2    INSTALLATION PROCEDURE    19

4.3.3    RESULT / DEMONSTRATION    20

CHAPTER FIVE    23

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION    23

5.0    SUMMARY    23

5.1    CONCLUSION    24

5.2    RECOMMENDATION    24

5.3    SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER STUDIES:    24

REFRENCES   

APPENDIX   

CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

As children playing hide and seek, there seemed to be so many places where we could hide and never be found. With the world be-coming ever smaller through technology, hiding is increasingly difficult. Cameras peer down on us at red lights, in our workplace, in stores and even at home. Now, those cameras are being augmented by new technologies that track our cars, cell phones and possibly any product we buy. This location-tracking technology also is being used to streamline supply chains for corporations, seeking to move products to the market faster, and to monitor assets and prevent inventory loss. In view of the phenomenal growth in transportation industry and the trend of information technology in delivery first class service to the customer with minimal cost. This project aim to develop online and real-time transit parcel monitoring system to the NIPOST clients.  Existing system is the way the system is being operated, that is the manual way of monitoring client parcel or freight. Since the existing system is done manually, it is imperative that we consider critically its mode of operation and analyse them. In monitoring the movement of freight and the ship or any carrier that carried it, the use of paper form was introduced which include the bill of laden form. The bill of laden form is the most important of all the forms required. The shipper sends the bill of laden in advance of the ship to the importer. The importer takes the bill of laden to the NPA (Nigerian Port Authority) central office for details about the ship and her located berth.The importer or its agent completes the bill of laden, cross checked and compared with the ship’s manifest. After certifying the correctness of consignee documents, a blank form called the delivery order is then issued out to the importer. The consignee or its agent complete the delivery order for and returns it to the shipping company, and then the delivery order is sent to the marketing department of the Nigeria Port Authority. After, the marketing department then raises all necessary bills according to the port regulation and their payment term, customer proceeds to the bank for payment; the documents are subsequently transferred to the transit shed or delivery point, the consignee then proceed to the appropriate shed or delivery point. After loading, cargo pass is issued to the consignee or his agent who then proceed to Nigeria Port Authority gate for security checks and final exit. In the old system of NIPOST company service, once a parcel or freight has been sent by the client, there is no way the client will know the position of that parcel until it get to the destination and acknowledgment message is sent from the receiver of the parcel that it has been delivered. This method poses a lot of problem to both the NIPOST clients and the company herself. Even the company wishes to feed the client back but since there is no means of doing such, both are incapacitated and everything is at the risk of the owner of parcel.

1.1    BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Location-tracking technology also is being used to streamline supply chains for corporations, seeking to move products to the market faster, and to monitor assets and prevent inventory loss. NIPOST’s online tracking is the fastest way to find out where your shipment is. No need to call customer service when we can offer you real-time details of your shipment’s progress as it speeds through the NIPOST Network on the way to its destination. Soon, companies also will be able to track your location. Imagine walking through your local supermarkets, and as you pass through the aisle, an electronic coupon for your favourite cereal is beamed to your phone.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Today’s rate at which clients do call the tracking agents and also the rate at which clients visit the NIPOST office to confirm the status of the parcel they sent through the NIPOST servicechannel is too high . At times, the NIPOST agent may not be able to say precisely whether the parcel has been delivered or not due to inadequate means of communication to the company while on journey and secondly, it is more prone to error due to data lost. The data entry and validation aspect of the old system are done manually, the system use the data entered as the basis for the tutorials schedule while all documents given to the clients are generated from the data collected and result of processed data for use. This process is often associated with high-levels of manual processing, limited tracking visibility and poor customer service (at least perceived). An efficient chain-of-custody proof-of-delivery (POD) solution becomes more and more important to day-to-day operations.

1.3    AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

1.3.1    AIM

In view of the phenomenal growth in transportation industry and the trend of information technology in delivery first class service to the customer with minimal cost. This project aim to develop online and real-time transit parcel monitoring system to the NIPOST clients.  Following objectives:

1.3.2    OBJECTIVES

1.    To provide fastest and most reliable service to the client at all time, all days through mobile technology

2.    To prove self-monitoring environment for the client’s parcel or freight on transit.

3.    To ensure proper processing and dissemination of key shipping information for quick vessel turnaround.

4.    To provide self-management and the unbending security in monitoring client’s parcels on transit

5.    To ensure efficient management of port operations, optimal allocation and use of resources.

1.4         SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

In implementing the objectives of this study, the advantages of an E-tracking system over the existing system, i.e. the manual way of registering and monitoring the movement of freight or any parcel. Users will be able to tracking/ access resource digitally without carrying books, journals, magazines etc which could result in rapid wear and tear of the paper documents. Besides, it will afford users the opportunity to see the current status and position of their goods or parcel. The proposed system will provide security to help track the movement of each ship and parcel carrier on transit. The system will also eliminate some of the routine manual work prevalent in the manual system of tracking.

1.5    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research work will be limited to the provision of tracking information provided by the NIPOST for tracking of client’s freight and parcels on transit as provided by the NIPOST agents.

1.6    LIMITATION OF STUDY

1.    Some problems were encountered during the course of writing this project. These problems include, difficulties incurred while gathering all necessary information.

2.    Financial problem was also one of the major problems encountered. For every material needed require money e.g. browsing so as to source for information.

3.    Erratic power supply both in school and at home also hindered this project work in various ways.

4.    The non-availability of a mail server also hindered the response management system as it was only simulated in this project work.

5.    Also, the time allotted for the completion of the project wasn’t sufficient as it requires time to learn the programming tool used for the project.

6.    In spite of all these constraints, the designing and writing of a well-documented project was achieved.

1.7    GLOSSARY OF TERMS

1.    Tracking:Tracking is the process of automatically locating a point or series of points from frame to frame in a sequence.

2.    Cargo: Goods carried on a ship or aircraft.

3.    Information: This is a collection of facts or data.

4.    Parcel: Goods etc. wrapped up in a package for posting or carrying.

5.    E-Tracking: Tracking is the process of automatically locating a point or series of points from frame to frame in a sequence Online.

6.    Transit: Going, conveying, or being conveyed, esp. over a distance.

7.    POD: Proof of delivery.

8.    NIPOST: NIPOST.

9.    TDX:     Tracking Dog Excellent.

10.    P.S.F.C:    Parcel sent from client.

11.    P.U.S:        Parcel update status.

12.    P.C:        Parcel cleard to be dispartced.

13.    P.R.S:        Parcel report status.

14.    T.R.F.C:    Track request from client.

15.    P.E.R.F.NIPOST:    Parcel entry registration from NIPOST.

16.    P.U.F.DISP:    Parecl update from dispatcher.

17.    T.R:        Track result.

.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE REAL-TIME PARCEL TRACKING AND MONITORING SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIAN POSTAL SERVICE [NIPOST])



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