From Totes to Pallets, RFID Improves Visibility In The Supply Chain Industry

What Are Totes?

Totes are one faction of reusable containers, also known as Returnable Shipping Assets (RSAs), Reusable Transport Items (RTIs), or Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs). These types of containers can vary from cages, to racks, to containers, to pallets and totes.

Who Uses Totes?

RTIs, or Reusable Transport Items, have become omnipresent in the manufacturing and logistics industries.  Many companies now ship their products or receive raw goods in returnable, recyclable containers.  For these businesses, RTIs are now considered to be an essential component in the movement of materials and products within as well as between facilities. RTIs aid in the transport of food, perishables, unfinished components, finished goods, and more.

What Are The Limitations Within The Industry?

Many companies are purchasing returnable shipping assets for transport and delivery.  Most often, these RTIs have been noted as business expenditures, yet often they are not traced nor managed the same as other assets since packaging materials are often treated as superfluous goods.

Unfortunately, for these businesses, there is an active secondary market for reusable containers, with resellers profiting from companies that do not adequately monitor their reusable assets. Implementing an effective system to track and manage your assets can be instrumental in lowering business costs and reducing commodity shrinkage.

What Should A Reusable Shipping Asset Solution Provide?

• Asset visibility.
• Ease of use.
• Bill-back accountability.
• Ability to produce reports and proactive alerts.

How Does RFID Provide This?

UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) RFID is an easy, cost-effective way to increase visibility and improve tracking capabilities. UHF RFID tags, affixed to the exteriors of the totes, are economical and durable. When optional printing is added to the cards, they can also provide information at a quick glance.  

Doorway readers or antennas and handheld UHF RFID readers like the idChamp 1128 UHF Reader/Writer and the Scanfob® Ultra-BB2 make it simple to scan totes at every step of the process while capturing and recording the necessary data.

Mobile software solutions like Cloud-in-Hand® Mobile Applications feature customized user interfaces such as alerts and reports, signature capture, and more,—providing you and your business all the tools needed to manage your shipping assets efficiently.