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Ameya Logistics Uses RFID to Add Efficiency, Value to Its Freight Yard

The Indian company has installed a system that utilizes EPC Gen 2 tags and readers to capture and store data about the location of each container stored at its facility near Mumbai.
By Claire Swedberg
When an agent or customer arrives at the yard, either for inspection or to retrieve a container, that person can utilize a mobile phone or a tablet PC to access Ameya Logistics' server and enter a password to learn a particular container's location, based on its serial number. The system can retrieve location data for up to 10 containers at a time. Each container's serial number can also be sent to the server via an SMS message, enabling users to obtain information via a mobile phone.

When the container is shipped out, its RFID tag is removed at the gate and reassigned to another container. If not removed, the tag will be read by the interrogator as it passes through the gate, and an alarm will be sounded, indicating to the gate staff that a tag is leaving the yard.

Ameya Logistics' Percy Vapiwala
Since the system went live, Jumde says, it has reduced the amount of time employees spend searching for containers within the yard—from several hours, in some cases, down to mere minutes. The software also allows Ameya Logistics to create reports, including a "machine-utilization report" that provides visibility into the work being performed by each reach stacker every day. What's more, with the RFID data stored in the software, the yard-operations department can plan the placement or movement of containers based on cargo deliveries requested for a given day, as well as on existing locations of containers, and thereby provide more precise instructions to yard operators.

Customers do not pay for the RFID-based data, Jumde says, noting, "This is a value-added service to our customers." That added value includes Internet-based information about containers' locations, thereby decreasing the time inspectors spend seeking specific containers, as well as more efficient shipment of containers out of Ameya Logistics' yard.

C&B Electronics has completed four similar implementations in India, Sirohi says, in partnership with other companies. During those earlier deployments, however, C&B's role was limited to providing the necessary hardware components.

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