RFID tips: How a small chip improves e-commerce, logistics and transport

Posted: 23. August 2018-Likes: 0-Comments: 0-Categories: Ikke kategoriseret
RFID label

RFID tips: How a small chip improves e-commerce, logistics and transport

 

The use of RFID technology is slowly getting more widespread in the e-commerce, logistics and transport industry. But there is absolutely no reason to hesitate with implementing RFID in your business, as the list of benefits from using RFID is long.

RFID means Radio Frequency Identification and is the use of wireless signals to transfer data between a microchip and a reading device, which makes it possible to identify and trace objects. In daily life you see RFID technology in pets that have a microchip in their neck that allows you to locate if the pet has gone missing, or when you drive by a tollbooth and the device in the windshield of your car is registered and you pay automatically.

This way of automatically transferring data when scanning a RFID tag is extremely useful when handling goods and shipments, why RFID technology is valuable to the e-commerce, logistics and transport industry. You might be wondering, but why use RFID tags instead of conventional barcodes? Here is why:

RFID tags can:

  • store far more information.
  • be read remotely at distances of several meters.
  • can be read in bulks, enabling an entire pallet-load of RFID tagged products to be read all at once.
  • be given unique identification codes, so that individual products can be tracked.
  • be overwritten, enabling information about items to be updated, e.g. when they are moved from one part of a warehouse to another.

In practice implementing RFID technology requires RFID tags and RFID scanners. RFID tags are typically encapsulated in plastic, paper or similar material, and placed on a product or its packaging or freight label, or even to a pallet or container. A RFID scanner that reads the RFID tags can be placed at the warehouse and used when receiving goods, when moving goods from one location to another at the warehouse or when goods are leaving the warehouse to be loaded on trucks. In addition, trucks can have a RFID scanner attached inside next to the lift which registers when parcels are on- and offloaded.

Read how Nordic sports retailer XXL eliminates delivery fails by using RFID technology here.

RFID in logistics

Tagging goods at the warehouse with RFID tags has several benefits including updating stock status, analyzing goods and shipment preparation – all in all a much faster and high quality handling process of goods and parcels:

  • Visibility of accurate real-time stock information.
  • Fast location of products as product movement is tracked.
  • Easier to spot errors e.g. missing or misplaced goods.
  • Remove time spent on manual scanning and potential errors when handling products at the warehouse.
  • Bulk scanning, automatically registration and updating goods.
  • Faster handling of goods at the warehouse.
  • Validation of delivery address.

RFID in deliveries

Implementing a RFID chip in the freight label allows for faster and more accurate delivery. This benefits both shipper and carrier, as higher speed and fewer failed deliveries mean reduced freight costs:

  • Bulk scanning, automatically registration and updating shipments at on- and offloading.
  • Easier to spot errors e.g. missing, delayed or damaged shipments.
  • Removing time spent on manual scanning and potential errors.
  • Faster delivery as the whole handling process of the parcel from order to delivery is faster.
  • Reduced distribution costs.

RFID in e-commerce

The data gathered by RFID scanners at the warehouse and transport can be transferred to the online shop’s backend WMS and Delivery Management systems enabling data access for tracking, stock-taking, cost analyzing etc.:

  • Possibility to update the online shop with real-time stock information.
  • Increased customer satisfaction due to faster delivery.
  • Improved tracking due to greater transparency in the delivery process.
  • Reduced costs connected to misdelivered or missing orders.
  • Reduced freight rates for both online shop and end customer.
Read how Swedish online shop Hatstore.se uses RFID labels on their parcels here 

 

The costs associated with implementing RFID technology have fallen over recent years and continue to do so in line with the increasing use of RFID. RFID tags are typically priced based on the volume sold. However, the start-up costs including buying RFID scanners, time spent on new routines and training and the continuous RFID tag expense, should be counterbalanced with an overall much more streamlined, fast and flawless process from warehouse to end customer.

This way you can use RFID technology to stay ahead of competitors both in terms of lower costs and more streamlined and flawless logistics but also in connection to higher end customer satisfaction.

Text by: Consignor, news@consignor.com

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