RFID ENABLES REAL-TIME TRACKING OF PALLETS

Norwegian pallet leasing organization Norsk Lastbærer Pool is piloting RFID tags for tracking plastic pallets in two food factories and distribution centres


Background


Norsk Lastbaerer Pool manages pallet leasing for retailers and manufacturers in the grocery industry, handling yearly over 5.5 million pallet trips.


Challenge


Norwegian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have already used approximately 150,000 tagged plastic pallets leased by NLP which the companies have not been able to track in real time: Pallets get lost and sometimes damaged without getting any information of them. Could RFID increase the visibility throughout the supply chain by real-time data tracking of the pallets?


Solution


The RFID pilot was managed by Hrafn, including the RFID readers by Impinj, the antennas by Intermec, and ShortDipole™ RFID tags by SMARTRAC with stable high performance specially designed for supply chain management applications. Lexit Group installed and integrated the hardware and provided software linking users’ back-end information, such as the order number and ship-to-location Global Location Number (GLN) code with the pallets’ tag ID numbers. Telenor Ojects’ Shepherd platform links data from read events to the EPCIS software, providing also hardware monitoring by detecting eventual errors.


Success


The participating companies were able to track their products from site to retailers without a need to invest in the reader infrastructure, since the costs for the reading system are included in NLP’s pallet leasing fees.

NLP is aiming at standardizing RFID infrastructure package to be applied for any national facility in the consumer goods supply chain. The company is also planning to utilize RFID technology at its own washing and repair stations where each repair data of pallet will be recorded by handheld readers and stored when pallets are passing through RFID portals.