Taiwan Customs Officials Adopt RFID-enabled Container Seals
Officials at Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan's busiest port, have introduced the seals with EPC Gen 2 chips to improve security and reduce the need for officers to escort cargo containers.
Mar 25, 2009—At Kaohsiung Harbor, one of the 10 largest ports in the world, more than 1 million transit containers are imported and exported annually. To prevent smuggling, Taiwan Customs officers are required to escort some 50,000 unloaded containers each year from the carrier yard, through downtown, to one of the port's five container terminals.
The escorts result in increased expenses for Customs, due to the need for additional employees, and for carrier companies, which must pay an escort fee. In addition, the long inspection times can cause an inconvenience.
Between 2004 and 2006, the Kaohsiung Customs Office called on bidders four times to deliver an automated, RFID-based electronic seal (e-seal) system, says section chief Hai-Hsiao Wang. Each bid, however, failed to meet the department's high standards.
"The bidders could not reach the required criteria of a 95 percent read rate," Wang says, "and the main reason was domestic manufacturers could not control the accuracy of the technology over long distances, or the stability of the electronic seal."
Enter Yeon Technologies, a local hardware supplier that provides both Impinj's Speedway readers and its own specially designed tamper-proof Yeon YTE-100 e-seal. The e-seal has a bolt containing a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) chip encoded with a unique ID number.
"The reason a number of readers failed during previous trials is because of environmental conditions at Kaohsiung Harbor," says Yeon Technologies' president, Nancy Tai. "It is in a very tropical area, so the readers must be able to withstand high temperatures, high humidity, salt erosion and even the occasional typhoon."
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