My company would like to track 1-liter bottles traveling across large geographical regions, such as Australia. Are there any existing RFID solutions that could fulfill this requirement? The number of bottles would be in the millions.
Radio frequency identification is a relatively short-range technology. Passive tags can be read from a distance of only 30 feet or so, while active tags can be read from as far away as about 1,000 feet. To achieve your goal, you would likely need to combine RFID with GPS or GPRS technologies.
If you wish to track individual bottles, as opposed to cases, pallets or shipping containers, I would recommend utilizing passive high-frequency (HF) or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags. The tags could be read and associated with a specific truck, which could then be tracked via GPS. When the goods arrive at a destination, the tags could be read once more to confirm that the product has arrived.
If the bottles go into larger containers, there are active tags that can either connect to the cellular network or switch to GPS mode, so that they could be monitored over longer distances. But the GPS and GPRS tags wouldn't work if the containers were placed within a metal enclosure.
If you need information about solutions providers, please let me know.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal