RFID tagging was introduced at pallet level in more than 400 locations. This includes the warehouses and stores of the sales brands Real and Metro Cash & Carry in Germany and France, with very positive improvements in logistics processes. Freight movement between DHL distribution centres and 91 Metro cash & carry stores in France accounts for 1.3 million pallets each year, and RFID deployment has identified the following potential benefits :
- There was a reduction of shipping errors and compensation claims
- There were productivity gains in truck loading operations in DHL Distribution Centres, with a reduction in loading times of 15 % In addition, these roll-outs have been deployed for other DHL customers and for Metro Cash & Carry suppliers, creating new opportunities to improve transport efficiencies through real-time tracking of pallets throughout the supply chain
Other cases were presented such as the use of RFID in the international supply chain for advanced logistics in Asia. The collaboration with suppliers in Asia has allowed for more process transparency and process optimisation, with better control of movement of goods.
In conclusion RFID is alive and kicking but it is not yet fully deployed. Although RFID is considered as an important trend for corrugated manufacturers, for the moment there is no great pressure from the market, although companies such as Metro and Kraft Foods are already far ahead with their evaluation and in some cases implementation. Workshop participants agreed that it is important to remain updated and it was agreed that FEFCO is the right body to spread knowledge within the Industry.