The hottest RFID brings a new atmosphere to the ex

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RFID brings a new atmosphere to the express industry

as early as the early development of the company, Fred W. Smith, the founder, CEO and CEO of FedEx, has realized that "the delivery information of packages is as important as the package delivery service itself". Today, the rapid development of society has led to the rapid development of information technology. Therefore, major express delivery giants, including FedEx, have tried to integrate information technology into express delivery services to enhance the value of customer service

FedEx handles more than 3.2 million shipments to and from around the world every day. In order to track the shipment status quickly and accurately, FedEx has launched package tracking, a value-added service, in order to provide customers with comprehensive and perfect services. In order to complete the customs clearance of the cargo as soon as possible, when the cargo is still "traveling" on the plane, FedEx staff have sent the relevant information to the Customs Department in advance, so that the cargo can be cleared quickly after arrival, so as to ensure that the cargo is delivered to the customer in time

FedEx has about 6000 in-service IT technicians and invests US $1billion annually to develop information technology. FedEx aims to promote daily operations through the improvement of productivity and transaction efficiency technology, help the company expand its business scope and methods, and effectively use the information of shipments to speed up the delivery process, so as to further benefit customers

taking a comprehensive view of today's society, the form of information storage is mainly bar code storage, which is characterized by fast, reliable, large transmission capacity, and can cooperate with the real-time application system, so that information can be accessed at any time. The emergence of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology provides another new method to capture and process information. The information storage capacity of RFID is much larger than the existing barcode. In addition, for the logistics express industry, RFID technology is also very flexible. It can actively "report" the delivery status of packages, so it is especially suitable for the logistics express field

FedEx has been involved in the testing of RFID products and technologies for eight years, including the cooperation between FedEx Institute of technology and the University of Memphis to test and analyze the characteristics, advantages and potential development opportunities of RFID technology. FedEx is also a member of EPCglobal. The organization is committed to leading the industry in formulating standards for electronic product codes in the industry, so that RFID can be integrated into the logistics and trade networks with rapid operation and rich information. As an active member of EPCglobal, FedEx has also provided many opinions and experience on practical applications

in addition to joining technology and industry organizations, FedEx also conducted a large number of tests on RFID technology by itself, covering the packaging and scanning of shipments; Check whether the RFID label on the cargo can make the scanning process more simple and reliable, so as to develop the best technology for scanning the cargo. In addition, FedEx also cooperates with customers to understand their needs and ensure that they can meet their needs to the greatest extent. After repeated tests, we found that the accuracy of reading RFID label data is about 75%, while the accuracy of reading barcode data is as high as 99%. In practical application, the accuracy is more likely to be further reduced due to the nature of the goods in the shipment (whether it contains liquid, metal or electronic goods) and the location of the label. At present, it is still difficult to scan and track independent cargo and pallet shelves with RFID, and the real application and development of RFID still have a long way to go

however, FedEx has also tested many other uses of RFID and has been successfully applied to the daily operation of FedEx. FedEx believes that if it can cooperate with effective monitoring means, the application of RFID in individual fields can benefit the company and customers at the same time. For example, in the United States, when the FedEx deliveryman returns to the truck, he just needs to press the RFID button on the wristband to open the door and the important purpose is to increase the wear of equipment and the engine. If they leave the truck, the sensor will automatically lock the door as long as it detects that the label has crossed the sensing range, which will help shorten the time for the deliveryman to use the car key. Although it is only a few seconds, as long as you think that the deliveryman takes advantage of the accumulated hundreds of times a day saved, such as opening and closing the door, starting the engine and other trivial time to deliver the goods early, the advantage of RFID in improving the efficiency of goods delivery is self-evident. FedEx has configured RFID tags for more than 30000 trucks and trucks in the United States to monitor their entry and exit from the airport freight station, otherwise it will cause inaccurate instigation due to the interference between the float and the fuel tank partition. This technology has been installed in the management system of the distribution yard. As long as the truck passes through the scanner, the information of the items on the truck can be automatically updated

FedEx has also begun to test RFID technology in Australia, mainly using RFID labels and scanners to automatically check and report the experimental methods required by 9.2) standards: gb/t 228 (2) 010, gb/t 14452 (9) 3, gb/t 7314 (2) 005. At present, without the help of RFID label, FedEx staff must check and scan each package, plus agricultural and daily disposable consumer goods, and confirm its current status before updating the package information in the system for customers to consult at any time

as long as RFID technology is effectively used, we can set RFID labels that can actively "report" data on each shipment waiting for customs clearance, so that the shipment can send signals to the RFID scanner or reader at regular intervals (such as once every hour), indicating that it is still waiting for customs clearance. In this way, FedEx can master more information about shipments, use staff time more effectively, and improve staff efficiency. The most important thing is to provide customers with more information so that they can always know the status of packages

although FedEx is satisfied with the current use and development of RFID technology and has been applied to individual work fields, it has not been widely implemented within FedEx because its accuracy is lower than that of traditional bar codes

Where is the future development of RFID? Rob Carter, chief information officer of FedEx, described RFID as a "double decade" technology. After the introduction of this kind of technology, it often covers a wide range and attracts much attention. However, it may take 20 years for the initial market to carefully understand the characteristics of this technology, so it may not achieve remarkable development. However, I believe that when we recall this technology in 10 years, we will be surprised by the innovative application of new technologies or products, which may even have a far-reaching impact on our daily life in the future

in addition to the accuracy of reading data, RFID technology still has many shortcomings, making it difficult to be fully applied to the supply chain, logistics and other industries. Although the cost involved will be reduced once RFID is widely adopted, the high price of RFID labels and scanners now makes it difficult for the industry to bear: the price of each RFID label is often as high as hundreds of dollars. Moreover, if RFID devices are to operate effectively and be accepted by manufacturers and operators around the world, data collection and reading technology is only one of the three major problems. The operation of logistics information system often needs to be managed and controlled by the information it has. The current RFID technology is not compatible with the existing systems and technologies, and there is a lack of unified standards

the development of many new technologies often involves multiple stages of product improvement or system application, and requires the opinions of developers and users to test whether they can cooperate with the operation of the existing system, or whether other functions need to be added, so that the initial technical model can continuously absorb the new improvements in technology. RFID is no exception. Compared with the first generation technology, the second generation RFID Technology (called the second generation electronic product code) has a number of new advantages, including global accessibility, ability to play a role in different regulatory environments around the world, rewritability of preset programs, faster speed of reading and writing volume label data, ability to read data in more difficult environments, and the ability to cooperate with the upgrading and development of electronic product code categories in the future. Although the new generation RFID technology has been significantly improved, it is still difficult to match the current technology. Looking at the opinions of insiders, they generally hold a wait-and-see attitude towards the development of the second generation RFID application technology

although RFID technology does have its advantages, I believe that for most organizations, there is no hurry to switch to RFID system, especially the service and accuracy problems still need to be solved. FedEx believes that RFID technology will be widely used one day, but it will take several years at the fastest, and it depends on whether the new technology can really save costs and improve customer service quality

Author: Vice President and chief information officer of FedEx Asia Pacific

source: RFID radio frequency Express

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