DHL and METRO Group start largest RFID rollout in France
- All DHL shipments to Metro Cash & Carry France will use RFID
- 1.3 million pallets equipped with RFID each year
- Project marks stepping stone for large-scale use of RFID in logistics industry
- METRO Group new partner of DHL Innovation Initiative
DHL and METRO Group are starting the first national rollout of radio frequency identification (RFID) in France.
Beginning in the fall of 2008, DHL will equip all shipments to the 89 Metro Cash & Carry self-service wholesale stores in France with RFID transponders and read them out along the entire supply chain.
Some 1.3 million pallets per year will be fitted with the RFID tags to facilitate contactless and automated monitoring of the supply chain. In taking this step, DHL and METRO Group are initiating the largest RFID rollout in French retail logistics.
METRO Group is also the first retail company to join the DHL Innovation Initiative, whose members as yet are primarily technology companies.
“This project is setting the trend for the whole logistics industry as it brings the era of pilot projects in the RFID technology to an end,” said John Allan, Chief Executive Officer at Deutsche Post World Net and as Management Board Member in charge of Global Business Services, the home of the Group’s Technology and Innovation Management. “RFID is ready for everyday use.”
Signal to the entire logistics industry
DHL expects the major project to send a signal to the entire area of retail logistics as well as to other segments of the logistics industry.
With this project METRO Group continues to drive forward the international deployment of the technology.
"By expanding our operational deployment of RFID to France, METRO Group is proving that the benefits of the technology can be realized throughout Europe," said Zygmunt Mierdorf, member of the Management Board and CIO of METRO Group.
In the RFID project, five DHL food logistics centers will equip all shipments to the self-service wholesale stores with RFID tags. These RFID transponders are read out during the loading process, and the data are electronically transmitted to the individual stores.
When the shipments arrive at the recipient's facilities, the tags are read out again and the data are automatically checked against the order.
In comparison to conventional controls using barcodes and barcode scanners, the contactless RFID process speeds up loading and unloading operations. In addition, the automated reading technology increases the precision of logistics processes, while visibility and manageability grow as a result of the improved pool of data. Disruptions can be recognized faster.
This RFID project is an outcome of the good, long-time working relationship between DHL and METRO Group, that is designed to jointly advance technology projects and turn them into business successes. In July 2008, METRO Group became the first retail company to join the DHL Innovation Initiative.
The cooperation with industry partners and the different Corporate Divisions of Deutsche Post World Net allows to systematically developed and bring onto the market projects of the DHL Technology and Innovation Management. DHL has also been a partner of the METRO Group Future Store Initiative since 2004.
Both RFID users work together as partners in the European EPC Competence Center (EECC) to promote the development and certification of the radio technology.