If you want to keep tabs on your products after they leave your dock, the simplest way might be to ship them on CHEP pallets. But you'll have to wait until next year. The pallet-pooling specialist is currently conducting pilots of its new Global Track and Trace System with Procter & Gamble and Avon in Brazil. The program uses software to collect RFID tag data from CHEP's "Plus ID" RFID-enabled pallets and containers to track shipments in real time as they move through the supply chain. The company plans to extend the program to other customers in early 2007.
Not RFID-enabled yet? Not to worry. The tags used in the program are CHEP's signature 3-in-1 tags—which include an RFID chip, a bar code and a human-readable identification number—which allows the pallets and containers to be identified in facilities that are not yet outfitted with RFID readers or bar-code scanners. The company also notes that the RFID chips used in those tags feature full read-write capability, which allows customers to temporarily write product info to the tag.
"This represents a milestone for the use of automatic identification technology in supply chain operations. The CHEP Global Track and Trace System will allow our customers to see exactly where their products are at any given time," says Dave Mezzanotte, CHEP's chief operating officer.