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RFID brings pulp logistics into a new era

Botnia, one of the world’s principal suppliers of market pulp and the market pulp agent for M-real, UPM and Cenibra, has started to use the very first application of modern RFID technology for monitoring pulp units.

An increased need to control pulp movements and especially of stock levels is the major driving factor why Botnia started to use RFID. Applying RFID tags to individual pulp shipments allows Botnia to track and trace: when the pulp has arrived in the warehouse, when it is delivered to the mill and finally, when agreed with customers, and when the pulp is used. All items together are changing the dynamics of keeping track of pulp inventory levels at warehouses

The warehouse stage of the pulp shipment process is still crucial and this is where the logistics partners come in. At the ports, the RFID is used to track when the pulp arrives in vessels, to monitor the pulp as it is discharged and placed in the warehouse. Through the process, the logistics partner will automatically report to Botnia what has been stored and when it will leave the warehouse, all in real-time.

RFID technology is a major advance compared to the identification systems currently in use. It makes the supply chain considerably more precise and generates significant savings in pulp flow management. Automation improves the efficiency and reliability of the entire logistical process, enabling optimization of warehouse administration at all stages of the chain with current information continually available.

In order to get the most out of the  RFID technology within pulp logistics, it is interesting to see in the future, how RFID technology will match with other pulp producers and potentially also other cargos. The standards and the system itself is at least being designed so that modifications can be made for other cargos and in other ports and warehouses.

By the end of 2012 the RFID pulp logistics system will cover the entire Botnia supply chain. Regardless of what comes next, the first logistics providers such as V. Alexander, are gaining a competitive edge within the pulp industry.

Botnia's high quality video on their RFID implementation.

29 comments on “RFID brings pulp logistics into a new era”

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    Great post. RFID tags are so cool. Besides helping the efficiency of every shipping industry, it's just a neat technology in general. Very futuristic and a big step up from older manufacturing traditions.

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