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RFID-Based Bill of Lading

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132505D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Larry Roth: AUTHOR

Abstract

In the shipping of products from one site to another, current customer service reporting is dependent on truck drivers to accurately report departure and arrival times. Organizations receiving trucks report that this is not always reported accurately and therefore they do not fully trust the on time customer service reporting provided by shippers and carriers. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology can be applied to solve such problems. In general, an RFID-tagged bill of lading could improve the quality of on-time customer service reporting. The proposed bill of lading would be physically associated with an RFID tag comprising an antenna and a microchip, wherein the microchip is encoded with a unique electronic product code that can be read with an external RFID reader that interacts with the microchip via the antenna. The RFID tag can be thin, flexible, and small enough to unobtrusively be attached to known bills of lading. The tag may contain many kilobytes of information in addition to the electronic product code, but in general the electronic product code alone is sufficient because it can be used as a pointer to a database containing extensive information about a shipment.

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RFID-Based Bill of Lading

     Larry Roth Kimberly-Clark Corporation Neenah, Wisconsin

Overview

In the shipping of products from one site to another, current customer service reporting is dependent on truck drivers to accurately report departure and arrival times. Organizations receiving trucks report that this is not always reported accurately and therefore they do not fully trust the on time customer service reporting provided by shippers and carriers. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology can be applied to solve such problems. In general, an RFID- tagged bill of lading could improve the quality of on-time customer service reporting. The proposed bill of lading would be physically associated with an RFID tag comprising an antenna and a microchip, wherein the microchip is encoded with a unique electronic product code that can be read with an external RFID reader that interacts with the microchip via the antenna. The RFID tag can be thin, flexible, and small enough to unobtrusively be attached to known bills of lading. The tag may contain many kilobytes of information in addition to the electronic product code, but in general the electronic product code alone is sufficient because it can be used as a pointer to a database containing extensive information about a shipment.

Applying an RFID device to each bill of lading at the time of shipment will provide an unobtrusive mechanism for tracking with certainty the timing of departure for shipments and the timing of arrival at the shipments destination. The fact that the RFID device is attached to the bill of lading, a standard business document that is required at all security gates before departure or arrival, means that few if any standard business practices must be changed in order to gather the necessary information. In addition, data about departures and arrivals can be captured with a relatively small number of RFID readers installed. Combining advance shipment notification electronic communications with the RFID-tagged bill of lading information would allow the receiving organization (buyers, expediters, receiving dock management) to view the list of trucks in their receiving yard and the contents of each of those trucks.

In this system, receivers would have a mechanism to view the trailers and the product in those trailers that is already in the receiving yard. This visibility would allow the receiver to be more selective in choosing which trailer they wish to unload next. This would in turn allow a reduction in out of stock conditions and a better use of unloading dock labor. Further, carriers and private fleets would have a mechanism to track their trailers more reliably.

Thus, using RFID-based bills of lading could improve quality of shipment load tracking and shipment on-time reporting by knowing precisely when each truck leaves the shipping yard and when it arrives in the receiving yard (dest...