Logistics is already a tricky business, but when you add refrigeration to the equation it gets a lot more complex. Recently however, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been removing the fog from cold storage and giving retailers unprecedented visibility.
Foodstuffs and other perishables must be kept at an exact temperature and away from contaminants throughout their journey, regardless of weather or other conditions. Meaning a misplaced container or box may soon result in lost goods. Products must be packaged fresh, then controlled throughout their journey in order to arrive on time and in perfect condition.
The development of cold storage logistics is largely responsible for the reduction of waste from perishable commodities and is vital for the growth of the food sector. Food and other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and livestock, are now embracing RFID technology for a host of benefits.
The supply chain optimization abilities of RFID are widely publicized. The location of tagged items can be tracked as it travels from its source to its final destination; by land, air, sea or warehouse. The RFID enabled, smart supply chain has taken efficiency to new levels and opened up new value through item level visibility.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; ‘cold chain’ RFID systems also offer temperature and contaminant monitoring. RFID tags can be designed to measure and endure a wide variety of conditions while wirelessly transmitting its sensory information in real-time. Alerts will sound when the conditions deviate, allowing logistics firms and retailers to react to any hazardous situation as it happens.
In addition, by removing the human element from cold storage monitoring, RFID systems also save on time, minimize errors, and reduce the need to open the container at all – keeping products in the right place, at the right time, and at the right temperature.
And that’s why all the cool retailers use RFID.