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RFID Tracks Transatlantic Shipments of Jaguar Parts

Logistics provider Unipart is using radio frequency identification to monitor the security status and location of containers sealed with Savi Network's active tags.
By Beth Bacheldor
While Jaguar doesn't have the same requirements that a pharmaceutical or perishables company has with regard to temperature or humidity, changes in any of those conditions could indicate a container has been opened. If a tag detects any such changes, it creates an alert that a handheld or fixed-position RFID interrogator can read when the container arrives at one of the ports or warehouses.

So far, Unipart has tagged seven containers, which were loaded onto ships at the U.K.'s Port of Felixstowe today. Last week, Savi Networks announced it had extended the SaviTrak RFID service to terminal locations at the Port of Felixstowe, including the addition of RFID interrogators on dockside cranes and at entry and exit gates. The seven RFID-tagged containers filled with Jaguar parts will travel to two destination ports in the United States: the Port of New York/New Jersey and the Port of Oakland in California.

RFID interrogators there (as part of Savi Networks' SaviTrak service), will record the containers' arrival, as well as collect any alerts that may have been created from the sensors, such as a change in temperature or light, which could indicate whether the container was opened in transit. The containers will then be moved to the U.S. warehouses, where interrogators will again record date, time and sensor data. The data will be used to create reports that Unipart can analyze to understand better how the parts flow through the supply chain.

Unipart plans to tag up to 120 containers as part of the Jaguar Tradelane project, which is expected to run for about three months, Evans says. When the trial is completed, Savi Networks will present business-value analysis to Unipart and Jaguar, along with proposals on extending the RFID deployment, he adds.

According to Evans, Unipart is testing the RFID and sensor technology on its Jaguar supply chain first, but hopes to extend the capability to other customers. "Unipart doesn't expect to get the biggest savings on this particular supply chain because they've really optimized it already, but they do expect to gain experience with RFID and identify new opportunity for Jaguar and other clients."

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