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RFID for Returnable Transit Items

RFID for Returnable Transportable Items (RTI)
in the Supply Chain

Manufacturers, food processors, distributors and retailers are all discovering the value of RTI with RFID, Returnable Transportable Items with RFID. These RTIs with RFID can be in the form of a reusable tote, pallet, or container such as a beer keg. Many organizations have begun pilots with RTI to explore ways of make the logistics of the supply chain work with greater visibility and velocity.

Most of today’s finished goods find their way into a distribution warehouse. To complete their trip to a retailer these goods are selected through picking techniques: paper, barcode, robot and voice. The goods, once picked, have to be shipped to their final retail destination. This is where many closed loop operators are beginning to employ reusable shipping containers with RFID. By equipping these containers with RFID tags the containers can be tracked throughout the whole fulfillment, delivery and return cycle. The tracking can be accomplished with little to no human intervention.

This trend first started using beer kegs in the UK. It was important to know what beer was being shipped, to what establishment and when the beer was made. By using beer kegs equipped with RFID tags, the beer maker was able to retrieve emptied kegs and reuse them in a timely and cost effective way as well as report on the timeliness and accuracy of all deliveries. In addition they had a complete audit trail of the keg and the usage history. The benefit to the whole process was fresher beer on tap, fewer kegs in the whole supply chain and improved customer service.

Similar processes are at play for the big box retailers, many of whom have dedicated distribution centres and almost daily fulfillment schedules. These operators are equipping totes and other shipping containers with RFID tags. These tags uniquely identify each and every container that is shipped.

The RTI systems are also being used to track partial finished goods as part of a WIP (Work in Process). The goods may be moving within a plant or across a city.

Potential Areas For Use of RTI with RFID

  • Distribution Center (DC) to retail fulfillment
  • Materials flow management
  • Parts tracking
  • CKD (Completely Knocked Down) packaging
  • Truck tracking
  • Item distribution

Some Benefits of RTI with RFID

  • Reduction of packaging
  • Reduction of manual handling scanning
  • No need to attach new identification labels
  • Reduction of material stocks
  • Reduction of manual handling

Contact Us to Find Out More About How GAO RFID Can Help with RTI

GAO RFID's Sales Engineering Team will help you design and deploy an RTI solution that will satisfy your requirements and budget . To find out how to meet the challenges in your closed loop logistics environment please email us at sales@gaorfid.com, send us an inquiry, or call us at 1-877-585-9555 or 416-292-0038, ext 601.

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