In response to the increasing demand for shipping low-value goods, International Post Corporation provides postal operators with a reliable and low-cost tracking solution for cross-border e-commerce items. IPC has developed the IT systems to create, capture, classify, manage and report RFID events for tracking purposes. This solution is cost effective and therefore, allows for low-cost e-commerce item tracking. IPC’s RFID tracking service provides service support and management. Posts with passive RFID infrastructure embedded in their operations, can easily, with little to no additional investment, connect to a cross-border RFID tracking network and run a low-cost tracking solution for the customers for buying economy products for which there is currently no tracking information. Michael Wendeler, Senior Operations Manager International at Deutsche Post DHL Group explains how RFID tracking for posts can be established and how RFID adds value for both postal operations and its customers.

E-sellers and consumers put visibility very high on their wish list. How did Deutsche Post DHL Group’s customers respond to the RFID tracking solution?

Our RFID tracking solution, called “Ländernachweis” was very well accepted by our customers. Compared to barcode tracking, RFID tracking is a cheaper solution with an automatic event generation. The missing delivery scans are not an issue for many customers, as a hand over scan is enough to proof that the product has been handed over or arrived in the destination country.

In your experience, what has been the biggest challenge implementing passive RFID tracking? 

We faced two main challenges during the implementation of the RFID based product. One is the fact that a lot of customers are not sending just boxes, but also P format letters. There we have the challenge, that the RFID tags are too close to each other and interfere with each other. This impacts the read rate and is hard to solve. The second challenge, which we solved, was the fact that we needed to find a way that customers could easily use the RFID service. In this case we are working together with a label software provider which has included the RFID product into their service.

Passive RFID technology has many other possible applications in the postal sector.  According to Deutsche Post DHL Grou what are further opportunities for your organisation and postal sector in general? 

How can such opportunities be realised? We strongly believe in the usage of bag tracking with RFID. This is the reason why we support the Operational Usage of RFID Solutions (OURS) project. Besides the bag tracking, it should also be possible to generate EDI messages with the support of RFID tags. Another opportunity for RFID services could be automated sorting or inventory management. But these are all options which need to be evaluated further. 

In what way will RFID tracking service assist Deutsche Post DHL Group to provide added value to its customers?

The RFID tracking service gave us the possibility to launch a competitive low-cost tracking product for our international mail stream. This service adds much value to many of our customers. When we combine RFID tracking with a final delivery event, we will have a very advanced product. If we set up the bag tracking with RFID in the near future, I believe we will have an additional service we could sell to our customers. Because this will provide us and our customers a very accurate hand over to the local delivery organization.

For more information on the RFID tracking system visit the page  /services/rfid/rfid-tracking