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RFID Boosts DP World's Productivity in Australia

The company has provided 3,000 active RFID tags to operators of container-hauling trucks, enabling it to immediately identify vehicles as they enter and exit the facility.
By Dave Friedlos
By improving gate efficiency, DP World can organize the pickup and drop-off of containers at its terminals more effectively, in addition to speeding up the delivery of containers to its customers.

Prior to the deployment of RFID in Australia, DP World called on several vendors to carry out a proof-of-concept test and prove the functionality of their RFID hardware and software. "The major challenge faced by vendors was our requirement that 99.5 percent of all tags be read," Rose says. "Being in an environment on the water, with heavy vehicles moving through all gate points, it was imperative that a strong, rugged system be implemented to ensure its longevity."

RFID tags were fitted to the bumpers of 400 trucks and RFID interrogators installed at terminal access and entry points. Australian systems integrator Ramp, using Identec Solutions' active Intelligent Long Range (ILR) technology, provided a read rate of 100 percent, and was thus awarded the contract.

Identec's active tags operate at 915 MHz, and each one continually sends out its unique ID number at pre-programmed intervals, utilizing the company's proprietary air-interface protocol. Identec's RFID readers and position markers are then installed at each entry and exit point, to determine the exact location of DP World's trucks. As the tag passes an induction loop connected to the position marker, it wakes up and downloads identification data from that marker. The ID and time of passage can then be broadcast and read by an ILR reader at a later time and place.

The system software, known as OnRamp IQ Beacon, polls readers at access gates at predetermined intervals. The software filters the tag-read data, and the information is transmitted to DP World's integration layer using an HTTP request so that the read is validated and sent on to the terminal's operating system. The operating system then determines if the truck is on time, which is vital in organizing the efficient pick-up and drop-off of containers.

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