I would like to track samples during collection, delivery and receiving. It would be preferable to track the whole route. Would it be better to use RFID or GPS/GIS? I am not sure about the benefits of each. GPS-enabled RFID, I assume, would be an expensive option. Please advise.
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Generally speaking, companies have put RFID transponders in individual samples to track them as they are put into cases or cartons for shipping. The individual serial numbers in the tags on each sample could be associated with a carton's tag when that carton was sealed. Reading the ID number of the RFID transponder on the carton would then call up a list of samples loaded within.
The carton could then be tracked as it was put onto a pallet, and you could use a pallet tag to determine which cartons were on a specific pallet. Or, if you just put the carton or case directly onto a truck, you could associate the carton ID with a particular truck. GPS on the truck would then tell you, in real time, where the samples were located.
As the samples were received, the tag on the carton could be read. This would call up a list of samples inside the carton. You might be able to avoid tagging each sample if you didn't need to track it beyond receiving. Simply indicate which samples are in the carton and track that carton—but it would be prohibitively expensive to track each sample via GPS, and that would not be necessary.
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