Trans-Amigos Express - Barcode Tracking FAQ’s

The FAQs below will answer some questions that pertain to the use of barcodes. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, contact Amigos at tae@amigos.org or 972-851-8000, ext. 2827.

Where can I find instructions on how to place barcode labels on packages?
Instructions for placing barcode labels on bags and other packages can be found in the TAE Guidelines on the Amigos website, https://www.amigos.org/node/933.

I’m running low on barcode labels. How do I get more?
Complete the supply request form to obtain additional barcodes.

Do I have to replace the barcode labels on the TAE/TExpress purple nylon shipping bags for each shipment?
No. The only time you will replace a barcode label on a bag is if the label is damaged and becomes unusable (can’t be scanned). Otherwise, please leave the barcode label on the bag. The barcodes aren’t specific to one institution or to the item in the bag. Additionally, if you receive a damaged bag, please send it to Amigos at 23 - DAL.

What are one-time use barcodes?
One-time use barcodes are applied to items shipped in disposable containers such as jiffy bags or cardboard boxes. You may apply any unused barcode to the label on these types of ephemeral packaging. If you reuse packaging, place a new barcode on the label each time. Amigos urges you to make every effort to ship items in the tagged purple bags to reduce the impact of barcoding on your workflow.

What procedure should I follow for tracking a barcoded package that does not arrive as scheduled at its destination?
Contact Amigos using the Lost Item form on your institution’s participant page the on the Amigos website, http://www.amigos.org/tae providing the following details:

  • Sending institution location/hub
  • Receiving institution location/hub
  • Date the package was shipped

Amigos staff will use that information to trace the barcode data to determine the status of your package and report back to you.

How long should I wait to report a delayed package?
Please report delayed packages as soon as possible. Any package delayed more than one week should be cause for concern.

Should I keep a log of barcodes on all packages shipped from my library?
Amigos has worked with the TexShare ILL working group and other advisory groups to develop a tracking system with minimal impact on interlibrary loan department workflows. The new system allows us to track pick-ups and deliveries with the required cost-efficiency. It provides basic data that will result in less loss and fewer delays though it does not track items.

The percentage of items lost in the Trans-Amigos Express system is less than one-half of one percent. Each library may decide whether to log the packages or just to log packages with items of higher value.

If your library has devised a way to link package bar codes to items with minimal impact on your ILL operation, Amigos, on behalf of all TAE participants, invites you to share the information.

Do we continue to keep statistics for incoming and outgoing packages?
Yes, for the near future, packages will still need to be counted and reported to Amigos each month on the website at each institution’s participant page. We hope to discontinue manual counting once the process is fully adopted. Amigos will monitor the system closely and advise you when manual counting is no longer necessary.

Will we be able to access electronic tracking information for our institution?
The goal is eventually to have each institution log into the system to access their tracking data. Amigos is working closely with the courier service provider to refine the system’s interface to make the process of finding this useful data more user-friendly.

What should I do if the driver is not scanning my packages?
Please send an e-mail to tae@amigos.org or call 972-851-8000, ext. 2827.