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Driscoll's Monitors Its Berry Shipments in Real Time
The company is using a combination of RFID sensors, GPS and cellular communication technology to ensure its products are transported at the proper temperature, and that trailers are not opened while in transit.
Nov 18, 2010—To ensure its strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are transported at an optimal temperature, Driscoll's has adopted a system utilizing radio frequency identification to track the location, security status and temperature of its products as they are carried by trailer trucks, and to report that information in real time.
This past summer, Driscoll's carried out a pilot deployment of the system—provided by Locus Traxx, a firm that produces sensor and monitoring technology for transportation applications—on shipments of strawberries transported from its California cooling and distribution facility to a distribution center located in Florida. The technology consists of two temperature sensors with built-in battery-powered 2.4 GHz RFID tags, one door sensor with its own similar RFID tag, and an RFID reader wired to a GPS device carried in the truck's cab. By using the Locus Traxx system, Driscoll's was able to view data regarding the berries' temperature, the length of time they were in transit, when exceptions (such as high temperatures or an open door) occurred, and how quickly trucks were unloaded at the DC.
In addition, because the berries are transported by third-party logistics companies, Driscoll's has had little real-time visibility regarding the trucks' location, as well as when and where they are being delayed. If the trailers were opened at unexpected locations, possibly indicating theft, the company would have been unable see that event.
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