In 2013, the IPC Tracking project was conceived to ensure full track and trace from despatch to delivery, including a low-cost measurement and tracking solution for economy and standard packets.
This solution was designed, developed and tested in 2013. The next year saw the completion of the Tracking and Simple Tracking of Blind E-Commerce (STROBE) central system within the INTERCONNECT network. STROBE combines passive RFID and barcode to provide tracking at low cost for standard e-Commerce items.
A simpler version, called STROBE Lite – which is not part of the INTERCONNECT network – provides tracking fully based on passive RFID.
By the use of passive RFID technology, items travel in the ‘untracked’ operational flows, bypassing the more expensive barcode tracking process.
Passive RFID is a mature technology that has already been deployed by many postal operators e.g. for measurement and process control. STROBE builds upon this existing infrastructure to create an international network for the growing e-Commerce sector.
The passive RFID technology has potential for numerous additional operational opportunities, such as receptacle tracking, asset management and measurement.
STROBE started in 2015 with an initial network of 20 countries and 36 operational sites implementing the passive RFID technology. This network is expected to expand progressively.