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RFID in Logistics

Efficient logistics is a pre-requisite for successful commerce. Commercial transactions cannot take place unless goods are transported from source to destination in a timely, safe and economical manner. In a global marketplace, there is worldwide movement of goods - raw materials, components, equipment, semi-finished and finished products. Delays and errors can have severe consequences which get further magnified downstream along the supply chain. Consequently there is a huge demand for quick and efficient logistics and asset tracking.

The increased global movement of important documentation requires greater efficiency in post and parcel delivery. There is also worldwide movement of people in ever-increasing number, for business and pleasure. Efficient baggage handling is therefore also of vital importance. With modern life encountering increasing security concerns, organizations also look to implement additional safety and security provisions in the transport of goods and people.

Logistics providers therefore consider RFID to be imperative for the survival and growth of their business. In order to meet customer needs for shipment accuracy and real-time tracking of chain-of-custody data, transportation companies are under increasing pressure to provide greater visibility into package location and movement. RFID complements GPS in tracking and tracing information on assets throughout the course of their transit, resulting in streamlined operations, improved security, loss and theft reduction, reduced insurance risk, quicker transit, sales force automation, cost reduction, proactive information exchange over the internet and increased customer satisfaction.

RFID is the key component of a sound warehouse management system. RFID tagging offers guaranteed visibility of product flow across warehouses and distribution centres. RFID real-time locating systems (RTLS) facilitate efficient yard management through increase in productivity while saving labour and fuel costs. There is similarly increased efficiency in container management. RFID enables vehicle mapping and event tracking with extensive journey and halt reporting. Shipment delays and errors are minimized, proper loading sequence is maintained and speedier order staging is ensured through the implementation of RFID solutions. RFID also enables the adoption of just-in-sequence tracking which increases agility, allows prompt and accurate line replenishment, reduces sequencing errors and recall, increases speed to market and effects savings in costs.

By enabling track and trace along the entire value chain, RFID has ushered in a logistics revolution. Across the complete range of transportation - trucking, shipping and aviation, there is increasingly no alternative to the adoption of RFID. It has reshaped and energized the industry, helping traditional service operators to easily move up the value chain and become complete logistics providers in full control of the entire distribution process.
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