Transport cost plays an important role in logistic management as speedy and reliability of transporting is key determinants of the efficacy whether it is a business or it is a war. This process can be defined as the actual physical movement of products from one point to another place and it refers to logistic activity of an organization and it shares nearly 40 to 60 percent of an organization’s logistic costs. Intelligent transportation systems [ITS] now facilitates transporting goods along highways, assuring safer transportation and offering pass-through capabilities at border crossings.
Further, concept of moving goods just-in-time connotes focusing on enhanced order response, tracking capabilities, accuracy in shipping and timing from suppliers. [Zuckerman 2002:38]. One of the main advantages of RFID technology is that it simplifies the movement of products through a supply chain, Further, RFID technology is now being widely used in airport baggage handling systems. For example, RFID tags are affixed to passenger’s bags at San Francisco International Airport and these bags are used to move through a labyrinth of conveyor belts and security checkpoints.
BAR CODING: It is a computer coding system that employs a printed pattern of bars or lines to identify packages, products, mail or customer accounts. Bar codes are interpreted by optically scanning the printed prototype and employing a computer programming to decode the prototype. A string of identifying letters or numbers are assigned to the bar code system and when such code is read by optical scanner connected to a computer , the computer can offer and record information of the item like its price , quantity sold from and to databases.
The first ever North American Universal Product Code [UPC] was introduced as early as 1971. It contained two dark and two light bars of specific thickness to symbolize 12 numbers. However , from 2005 onwards , the GSI US , [the Uniform Code Council] implemented the identical European Article Numbering Code [EAN] , which based its encoding with 13 numbers and now , it has become the international standard. The management of the standards for the international product bar code system is overseen by GS1 which has its headquarters in Brussels and it is formerly known as EAN International.
Under GS1, the width of dark bars may be from one to three units and width of the light bars may be from one to four units. Two one-unit dark bars are placed at each closing stages and in the middle for registration purpose. A bar code on an item or product packaging represents a unique numeric code which is printed as a bar code on the tag of a product. Two-dimensional [2D] bar codes authorize the encoding of information about merchandise to a recognizable code. Two directions or axes are employed for recording and reading the codes in a 2D bar code.
Further, in 2D bar code, the size of the bar is reduced thereby increasing the available space for data in a style that a column of words enhances on a column of letters. For instance, some advanced version of 2D which is used by United Parcel Services hexagon based Maxicode do not employ 2D codes at all. [The Columbia Encyclopedia 2007]. RFID: RFID uses the frequency spectrum [radio waves] to exchange data on a product or an item that is stored in a minute microchip that is normally affixed to a product or item.
Chip in the RFID will have vital data of the product like details of the serial or model number of the product, date and place of manufacture, name of the manufacturer and shipping information. An electronic reader stimulates a RFID tag and the transponder on the tag forwards the data to the reader. As the RFID tags are passive, they do not have inbuilt source. RFID reader offers electronic power to activate an RFID tag’s circuit through electromagnetic radiation. Thus, tags are able to transmit back its information contents.
It is to be noted that power radiated by RFID readers can not be too strong and hence readers should be widely distributed. Radio Frequency Identification employs electronic tags in the place of printed bar codes to track the exact location of shipped product. RFID can be termed as “radio bar codes. ” In RFID, tags need not be visible as in the case of Universal Product Code [UPC] as they can maintain stored information. RFID tags can be read from many hundred feet and mostly used in tracking shipping containers or radio road cars. [Adams et al, 2005, p. 5]. RFID is being used by major players in the industry like Wal-Mart, Target and U.
S Department of Defense who have directed their suppliers to use RFID compulsorily. NYK Logistics employs RFID technique to enhance its throughput of containers at its Long Beach, California distribution center. RFID technology is now widely being used in libraries without giving enough importance to its privacy implications. RFID technology will largely increase the capability of a business organization to individualize the shopping experience for each and every individual customer. RFID is being rampantly used now and it has raised public policy issues like security, privacy and identity issues.
RFID technology facilitates a government or an enterprise to track people and to know what is being transported. Further, for security purpose, RFID can used in driver’s licenses, passports and even in currency notes as EU is contemplating to introduce it in high denomination bills. This is to minimize counterfeit notes and track illicit monetary flows. RFID will offer noteworthy new vistas for many business enterprises to modernize their business process, while ushering enhanced knowledge about how their products are being preferred by the consumers. [David Passmore 2004:16].