Now that B2B global communications networks have made it possible to share data across vast distances in real time, RFID tracking has revolutionized B2B shipping, warehousing, and logistics. Supply chain specialists can now keep closer track of shipments than ever before. And it’s not just a matter of tracking their physical location.
RFID tracking technology allows supply chain professionals to track the conditions shipments experience in real time. Tracking chips can collect and transmit information about the temperature of a shipment’s contents, for example, or whether shipments experience any impact events that could cause damage. They can even eliminate much of the potential for human error and leave human operators more time to tackle tasks more complex than checking B2B shipments in and out of a warehouse manually. Easy, simple, affordable, and comprehensive, RFID tracking is a shipping and logistics tool that is here to stay.
RFID Tracking Is Now Integral to the Shipping Industry
In shipping and logistics, you need to know two things about a shipment: where it is, and what it’s been through getting there. For over a decade, shipping and logistics professionals have been using RFID tracking to answer those questions.
B2B Vendors like Dole Foods use RFID and GPS tracking technology to follow vegetables through the processing, packaging, and delivery process, ensuring that they’re prepared and packed safely, stored and handled safely during shipping, and remain safe when they’re sold to consumers in the marketplace. PepsiCo. uses RFID tags to keep track of its plastic shells. And plenty of other supply chain professionals use RFID tags to make sure that delicate items are handled carefully and not damaged during shipment, or that perishable items are kept at the right temperature range during shipping and don’t get too cold.
It’s important to keep track of shipments at all points in the supply chain, but RFID tags can be especially helpful for warehousing. Moving shipments in and out of a warehouse efficiently requires keeping detailed records of what’s in the warehouse and where it is in the warehouse. RFID tags can make collecting this data easy, because, unlike barcode scanners, RFID readers don’t even need to be lined up with the tags to read them, and can even detect tags from multiple shipments in the same area at once. RFID readers can automatically scan tags as shipments enter the warehouse, making inventory management easier than ever.
What the Future Holds for RFID Tracking
RFID tracking has become cheaper and more reliable over the past several years, which has only made the technology more popular. While barcodes have been ubiquitous throughout the shipping and logistics industry for years, RFID tags are more efficient and have additional capabilities. Tags with RFID and GPS tracking allow supply chain professionals to track a package’s location in real time. RFID tracking tags with shock and vibration detectors can reveal whether the contents of the package may have been damaged. You can even use this kind of tracking data to pinpoint where on a route shipping damage occurs, so you can reroute shipments and see less damage.
As RFID tracking technology evolves, these tags may replace writing the word “Fragile” on packages — a visible RFID tag is thought to be much more effective because it shows that someone is keeping track of what happens to the package, and people who know they’re being monitored tend to behave better. And since there’s no need to open packages in order to scan the RFID tags within, these tracking devices are expected to become popular for shipping items that can’t be tampered with, or even for use as a tamper-evident seal for packages, similar to their use in retail to deter shoplifting.
RFID tracking tags allow shipping and logistics professionals to know what happens to shipments in transit. They’re the technology that ensures the food you buy at the supermarket has been kept safe throughout processing and shipment, and they keep safe the shipments of medicine and sensitive medical equipment that helps keep patients alive. Whether you need to keep track of products in shipment, or organize and operate a warehouse efficiently, RFID tracking technology can help. Bring it into your shipping operations today.
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