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Container Centralen Says RFID Provides 'Substantial' Cost Savings

The horticulture logistics provider reports that less than a year after its 3.84 million trolleys were fitted with RFID tags, the company and its customers are seeing real benefits.
By Rhea Wessel
Oct 19, 2011It has been 10 months since Container Centralen (CC), a Danish firm that owns and maintains trolleys used by the horticulture industry, went live with its RFID deployment, which involved installing passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags onto 3.84 million trolleys used by its European clientele, as well as the accompanying infrastructure of RFID readers at 60 CC depots and four repair shops.

Speaking on Wednesday at the RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2011 conference and exhibition, held in Amsterdam, Soren Moller Sorensen, CC's chief operating officer, explained that although his company experienced some initial resistance from customers with regard to the tagging project, many are now expressing strong curiosity about radio frequency identification, and, in some recent cases, interest in instituting new RFID-enabled applications involving the trolleys.


Container Centralen's customers use CC trolleys to transport and display plants.
"Customers are not talking negative about RFID anymore," Sorensen stated. "It's much more constructive now. Horticulture companies are asking what they can do with RFID, and which readers they should buy."

Container Centralen's customers had expressed worry that tracking trolleys via RFID might cause confidential company information to be accessible by competitors, Sorensen explained, or somehow infringe on their privacy.

CC began using the tags on Jan. 10, 2011, after several project delays due to customer hesitation. "We were ready, but the customers needed more time to learn about RFID and prepare for the RFID project," Sorensen noted while on the sidelines of the conference.

Attaching an RFID tag to the base of each one of its 3.84 million trolleys—which contain shelves and are used to transport, store and display plants—took only about two and a half months, Sorensen said, because CC asked its customers to perform the tagging themselves, using specially designed tags manufactured by Confidex. Though CC's property, the trolleys are used on the premises of 200,000 of its customers, comprising growers, wholesalers, exporters, consolidators, transport companies and retailers—many of them small businesses.

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