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Is It Worth Using RFID to Track Shipping Containers?

Posted By RFID Journal, 08.31.2010
Does the technology's value justify the expense of deployment?

—Name withheld

As with so many questions, the answer is, "It depends."

If you have a small distribution yard or a port with only a few containers, it might not make economic sense to install RFID readers and tag containers. But if your staff wastes a lot of time searching for missing containers or misplaced containers, then it might be worth the cost and effort to implement radio frequency identification.

Which system you choose, and how you deploy it, should be driven by the specific business problems you are attempting to address, or the efficiencies you are hoping to achieve. A real-time location system (RTLS) based on active RFID technology can locate a container in a large yard to within 10 feet. This often dramatically reduces the time workers spend looking for containers, reduces or eliminates bottlenecks, and saves on the charges shippers sometimes levy when their trucks are delayed while picking up a container.

—Mark Roberti, Editor,
RFID Journal

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