Fuel costs may hurt RFID development, conference hears
Research and development investment in transportation technologies, and specifically radio frequency identification (RFID), could be hurt by rising fuel costs and other costs that are straining profits, George Abernathy, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at 3PL Transplace, said Tuesday.
'Technology opportunities may be put on the back burner because of all these costs,' said Abernathy, speaking at an eyefortransport RFID conference in Las Vegas. 'There's a fuel surcharge on every shipment.'
The extra costs have shippers worrying more about how to meet bottom line demands than worrying about how best to integrate RFID into their businesses, he added.
Abernathy also said that being able to effectively utilize RFID in all its available applications will be a challenge to Transplace, and presumably other 3PLs, because of the range of types of customers that Transplace serves. In other words, one technology or use of RFID may not necessarily be suitable for one or more customers.
Also at the conference, Robert Brescia, vice president of logistics for Michelin North America, said Michelin has developed a method of embedding a RFID readable device within the layers of rubber in its tires.
He said the embedded device has the potential to one day deliver product information from virtually the start of the supply chain to the store shelf, alleviating the reliance on bar codes labels or external RFID labels.
The eyefortransport RFID conference continues today.