If so, what are they? And are there any in Europe?
The Universal Postal Union has been using passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags based on the EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol standard for monitoring the delivery times of letters in member countries (see Global Postal Monitoring System Goes Live), but there are no official standards for the use of RFID in the postal service. I would say that, in general, most national postal agencies are utilizing passive UHF transponders to track parcels, bins, sacks and other assets used in their operations.
For example, Correos, Spain’s postal service, employs passive UHF RFID technology to pinpoint inefficiencies in its mail-handling processes. When it was installed in 2006, the system utilized 340 readers and 2,000 antennas installed across its 16 automated processing centers throughout the country, as well as four bulk mail-handling centers. Correos worked with a third party that uses a pool of 5,000 passive Gen 2 RFID labels to monitor the movements of letters through the mail-delivery systems. By tracking the tagged mail’s movements, the agency identified mail-handling procedures that it must improve to make speedy deliveries more consistent (see Spain’s Post Office Improves Delivery Speed).
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal