The Reusable Pallet & Container Coalition (RPCC) recently launched
a study examining the economic benefits and enhanced supply chain
visibility that can be achieved through RFID technology and multi-use
tags in reusable transport packaging.
The Reusable Pallet & Container Coalition (RPCC) recently launched a study examining the economic benefits and enhanced supply chain visibility that can be achieved through RFID technology and multi-use tags in reusable transport packaging.
The study is being driven by retailers, consumer packaged goods companies and governmental agencies who need to track items as they move through the supply chain. By enhancing the tracking of location, condition, and status of assets, it’s hoped companies will be able to streamline their supply chain processes, increase asset utilization, and reduce waste while addressing security concerns.
Although the momentum is growing among supply chain participants to use the technology, RFID is very costly for one-way packaging. It is anticipated that multi-use tags with reusable packaging will deliver a significant economic return.
“We believe that reusable transport packaging, unlike one-way packaging, will be the enabler for the successful integration of RFID technology within the supply chain,” says David Rodgers, RPCC president and senior VP with ORBIS Container Services. “We are confident that our research and multi-phase approach will demonstrate that the use of RFID technology on reusable transport packaging will deliver a positive return on investment (ROI).”
In the first phase of the project, RPCC will work with the RFID Research and Development Laboratory at the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Calif. Researchers will test the durability of EPC-compliant, Gen 2 RFID tags to determine whether the tags will survive a longer use cycle. In the second phase, the RPCC plans to develop an economic model for integrating RFID tags with reusable transport packaging. Quality Logistics Management (QLM) will oversee the study, collect and analyze the data, and present an industry paper with the results.
Upon successful completion of the first two phases, RPCC hopes to conduct field tests involving approximately 1,500 RFID-enabled returnable containers using a producer/shipper of perishable goods, a major retailer, and other key players in the supply chain.
“Reusable transport packaging has proven time and again to reduce costs and deliver efficiencies throughout the supply chain,” says Rodgers. “When this field study is completed, the business case for the use of reusable transport packaging will be further confirmed.”