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Why should you care? - Basics of the goods carrier tracking business case

Where should you start looking for the return of investment, when it comes to implementing RFID for tracking of goods carriers?


This time the RFID Arena team received an interesting guest blog related to calculating ROI for RFID investments in the RTI (returnable transport item) business area. The guest blogger is Einar Toivonen, the Logistics Solutions Business Manager of K. Hartwall. Einar has extensive experience in various successful production-scale RFID implementations and business development activities in the logistics, retail and pulp & paper industry.

K. Hartwall is a Finnish goods carrier solution provider. They are currently piloting the management of RFID-enabled goods carriers (such as roll containers and dollies) with retailers, pool owners and manufacturers. The aim of the pilots is to demonstrate the technical and financial feasibility of RFID-enabled goods carrier tracking and management.

Einar _small

Author: Einar Toivonen

I have recently put a lot of thought and effort into figuring out the total cost of ownership related to the lifecycle of goods carriers (RTIs), for example roll containers, in their supply chain operations. The overwhelming result seems to be that there is a lot of room for improvement and development.

From the perspective of a goods carrier solution provider, I strongly recommended that owners of large goods carrier fleets direct their attention to issues directly related to the following:

  • direct capital investment size of carriers
  • goods carrier theft
  • misplaced carriers
  • negligence and lack of visibility of carriers being mistreated
  • operational costs of yearly fleet maintenance


Goods carriers are in the heart of the supply chain operations from the supplier to the DC and to the shop. Therefore, additional emphasis should also be put on operational disturbances related to:

  • countless hours of manual inventory of goods carriers
  • out-of-stock situations in shops due to lack of transparency
  • shipping errors in outbound operations

Concrete reasons for tracking and tracing

I want to shed light on why customers should care about these issues. Based on many interviews and statistics from our various customers, I'll try to put this into understandable figures. I call this "Basics for calculating ROI for your automated goods carrier tracking".


RTI---K.-Hartwall -table


If we add up all these figures, we come to a total of roughly 2.3 M€/year for a fleet size of 100k units that could be saved by implementing RFID tracking. And, this figure does not even include the potential savings that automated outbound verification, decreased out-of-stock situations at shops and minimized maintenance costs could add.

My questions is, can you afford not to analyze your supply chain operations and not to ensure that such figures can be saved by tracking with RFID, keeping the return on investment in mind?

What really needs to be understood, is that the investment in and the total cost of ownership of RFID-enabled goods carriers should be treated as more than just an initial investment in the goods carriers themselves. When you are ready for a transformation in your supply chain, I recommended that you contact experienced professionals in the field of goods carrier solutions that can help you:

  • optimize your investment according to your needs
  • prevent loss of goods carriers
  • make sure that the investment helps you streamline your supply chain operations
  • increase sales


More information from Einar.Toivonen@k-hartwall.com

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