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The use of RFID in logistics in the fruit and vegetable industry

By Géraud de Chantérac, Directeur Grands Comptes Commerce, Transport, Tourisme, Médias d’Orange Business Service.

Géraud de Chantérac, Key Account Manager for Commerce, Transport, Tourism, and Media at Orange Business Services. (Photo O. B.S)
Géraud de Chantérac, Key Account Manager for Commerce, Transport, Tourism, and Media at Orange Business Services. (Photo O. B.S)

"In October 2011 Orange Business Services  developed an application platform, accessible 24/24 using cloud computing (SaaS) through a secure ergonomic web interface, that enables the management at Auchan's fruit and vegetable distribution centre and their provider of reusable plastic crates to track the entire fruit and vegetable logistics chain in real time.

The application retrieves the RFID information that is detected by chip reading systems, either using portals (for reading large numbers of tags simultaneously, in warehouses for example) or hand-held readers (for fruit and vegetable producers) supplied by IER.

In this way the crates can be tracked in a closed loop: from the crate supplier to producers, to distribution platforms and shops. The cleaning of the crates after use marks the start of another cycle.

In addition to optimizing the logistics chain (increased turnover and tracking of the crates etc.), this solution offers greater security for packers with a reduction of the risk of accidents associated with wooden crates, and also the major benefit of reducing the numbers of lost crates, as they can always be precisely located.

Real time supervision of the entire distribution channel

RFID contributes to sustainable development. Using plastic RFID crates produces 150 tons less waste and enables a 30% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.

Furthermore, this solution respects current European regulations relating to food hygiene for fresh products. We are proud to have provided a group such as Auchan with the means to optimize their logistics chain in an area as sensitive as fruit and vegetable distribution. This is the first real application of the potential of RFID technology in the domain of large-scale distribution. The cloud solution that we have developed could not only be applied to other distribution channels, but also to other sectors and industries".

Mardi 10 Avril 2012

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