Letters and Shipments on Time
RFID is speeding deliveries to the doorstep
It’s 6:30 a.m. and Lisa Gustavson has just brewed her coffee. Mug in hand, she goes to the front door of her home near Stockholm to pick up her favourite newspaper. She has always enjoyed the ritual of reading the morning paper.
Thanks to RFID, Lisa’s newspaper is waiting on her doorstep. Every day, the company that delivers millions of newspapers to homes throughout the region applies RFID to reusable plastic containers. As the containers pass through the logistics chain, the tags are read, thus updating the system on the exact progress of deliveries. If for some reason a bottleneck occurs in the logistics process, the company can locate and isolate it immediately. This saves time and money and helps Lisa have a relaxed morning before going to work.
Across Europe, millions and possibly billions of items are shipped every day. These include the mail we receive, the items we order from the internet and the Christmas or birthday gifts we send to relatives.
Better delivery for you
Many postal and logistics companies are already using RFID to improve their service and to speed up deliveries. In Spain, RFID has been used widely since 2006. The national postal service sends RFID-tagged items through its network each day to monitor how long it takes for items to be delivered. Readers throughout the postal system read the tags on the items when they enter sorting centres and proceed to the automation room and on to the dispatch department. The RFID system monitors the movement of letters and packages and logs the performance of the system.
Elsewhere on the continent, a private logistics company has dreamed up another application for RFID. It has developed a secure shipping container that can record whether RFID-tagged items have been removed from it. In addition, the container can be tracked all along the logistics chain.
Such applications give consumers peace of mind, since a pharmaceutical company could use it to ensure medicine is not tampered with while on its way to your chemist – or a grandmother can rest assured that her grandson has received his birthday cash.
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