RFID Technology: What it Means for Your Fleet

Jul 27, 2009
In recent years, the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has become common in many consumer and business applications.  For those who may be unfamiliar with RFID, the system consists of a small tag that either transmits or receives radio waves for the purpose of relaying information and the reader that receives that information.  If you have ever driven through the automatic pay lane on a toll road or heard the anti-theft door alarm go off in a retail store, you’ve seen RFID in action.

RFID easily adapts to fit the desired application.  The tags can be set to send a simple on/off signal (such as the anti-theft application mentioned above) or something more complex like the location of the tagged object in relation to known receiver locations.  The tags can be read by receivers up to several yards away and are cheap to manufacture and utilize, costing between 5 and 20 cents per tag.

What does this mean for the commercial fleet?  RFID technology is already used extensively by delivery services to provide consumers with the ability to track their package as it is in transit.  By extrapolating this model, commercial fleet owners can easily monitor key areas of their fleet’s effectiveness.  An RFID chip on a vehicle’s cargo doors keeps track of how many times they are opened along a route, and tags on each individual piece of cargo can confirm that the correct cargo was delivered to the correct location at the correct time.  This creates a real-time inventory of the vehicle, erasing any uncertainty that may lead to later problems.  Information about special conditions affecting freight, such as temperature, can be quickly relayed to the driver of the vehicle through an on-board computer.  With the ability to track your fleet’s status in real time, delivery efficiency is increased and the savings in time and money can be passed along to your customers.

RFID is an affordable solution to many problems of the modern day fleet.  With the help of RFID, your drivers and customers can always be aware of the status of their inventory and delivery. Nothing bolsters consumer confidence more than knowing that their orders are being handled in a safe, efficient, and speedy manner.  With RFID, delivering this kind of security to the customer is not only possible, but easy.

Photo courtesy of myuibe under the Creative Commons License