RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification and encompasses a broad range of technologies aimed to read data from short of long distances. An object or cargo unit can be equipped with an RFID tag, rendering it to be an object that can be tracked by various systems. In the Province of Antwerp RFID applications are not only limited to handling equipment and commodities. Logistics flows can be monitored as well as this offers interesting management optimization perspectives. Real-time storage management and shipments can be applied when using RFID. Several pilot projects have shown that RFID enhances the overall logistics operations.
Future applications of RFID might include monitoring the psychical conditions cargo is subject to. For example when the temperature of refrigerated cargo would not meet specifications because of a damaged packaging, an alert can be sent to operation managers in order to take appropriate action. RFID chips can be used for all kinds of information. Advanced operations might include the monitoring of speed by which cargo is transported or to determine where a certain unit is located in a storage facility. This information would allow administrators to redirect and assess capacity shortages within logistics networks. In the near future different applications can be developed supporting RFID technology. When shipping cargo the optimal mode of transport and routing can be determined based on RFID information. Additional data provided by access points and corridors can speed up transport even further.