Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

IGPS Rolls Out RFID-Enabled Plastic Pallets

Embedded with EPC Gen 2 tags, Intelligent Global Pooling Systems' pool of pallets can be tracked throughout the supply chain. Sensors connected to tags can indicate if products suffered damage in transit.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 24, 2006Six months after being established by former members of the wooden pallet-pool industry, Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (IGPS) will roll out its first plastic pallets in September, all of which will be RFID-enabled. The Orlando, Fla., startup will then rent the pool of pallets to it customers.

Pallet pools allow manufacturers, distributors and retailers to use pallets on a rental basis, and then return them to the pool provider for inspection and reuse. Typically made of wood, most pallets lack RFID tags and are therefore traced with manual counts; some are occasionally lost in the process. The passive UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID tags will be embedded in IGPS' pallets during manufacturing. This will ensure the pallets can be traced through the supply chain from product factories to distribution centers and on to retail stores. It will also protect pallets from being lost, according to IGPS CEO Bob Moore. Plastic pallets cost about $50 apiece, Moore points out—2.5 times the price of wooden pallets.

Rex Lowe
According to Moore, RFID tracking allows supply-chain visibility as pallets of a customer's products move toward the retail shelf. In addition, the tags can be connected to a temperature or shock sensor bolted to the pallet, allowing distributors the security of knowing their product was damaged in transit. In addition, Moore says, RFID tracking enables manufacturers such as pharmaceutical companies to accomplish recalls of a product while it is still in transit, by using the pallet's RFID number to track where it is in the supply chain.

IGPS has ordered 6 million pallets, some of which will be available in September. Each will be encoded with a 915 MHz passive RFID tag, according to the Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) protocol. Formed in 2005 and comprised of global retailers, manufacturers and pallet-pool providers, the EPCglobal US Returnable Transport Items business action group, of which IGPS is a member, has recommended adoption of this protocol.

IGPS is rolling out its first RFID-enabled plastic pallets in September.

EPCglobal is expected to ratify the GRAI protocol in September, according to EPCglobal US spokesperson Jeff Oddo. For the past nine months, he explains, the group's members have been in the requirements-gathering process. "They'll begin working with other business-action groups on its adoption," Oddo says, "moving to a broader range of business-action groups to build a consensus."


scott muirhead 2006-08-25 09:53:24 AM
pallet selection is this pallet fire resistant
Rudolf BAUMGARTNER 2007-01-26 07:15:45 AM
user information In which industies the plastic pallets will or are already used? What is the size of the pallet?

Login and post your comment!

Not a member?

Signup for an account now to access all of the features of RFIDJournal.com!

Case Studies Features Best Practices How-Tos
Live Events Virtual Events Webinars
Simply enter a question for our experts.
RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations