We Can’t Lose!
The Friday, July 29th NEWS BULLETIN of the Daily Shipping News began with this lead-in:
“APL turns to radio IDs to speed LA container search”, and to make our point, we should take nothing out of context. Here’s the entire announcement:
LOS ANGELES — APL has announced the introduction of active RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to its Southern California marine terminal. By introducing Real Time Locating System technology at its Global Gateway South (GGS) terminal, APL reports it can reduce by as much as half a day or more the amount of time it takes to track a container in the yard and prepare it for transport. In Los Angeles, APL is affixing active RFID tags to every chassis in its yard. The tags transmit location signals to computerized tracking equipment. Since nearly every container at the GGS terminal is on a chassis, containers can be quickly spotted and readied for shipment by rail, truck or ship. According to APL, the Real Time Locating System is the first-ever use of active RFID technology in a “wheeled” terminal, that is, one that stores containers on chassis instead of stacking them on the ground. The locating system replaces technology that required drivers with tracking equipment to search up and down rows of containers for a particular unit. Using the old system, tracking could take as long as a half a day or more. With RFID, containers can be spotted almost instantly.”
Now that’s one terrific sales pitch. No … not for RFID … but for the patented system we’ve been touting on this website since last September. Let’s take a moment to compare this “first-ever” technology with our automated system of storage, retrieval and delivery.
• “… APL reports it can reduce by as much as half a day or more the amount of time it takes to track a container…”. [Our system cannot lose track of a container.]
• “ … and prepare it for transport.” [Our system prepares a container for transit while the container is still aboard ship.]
• “The tag transmits location signals …”. [Our system programs container location while the container is still aboard ship.]
• “ … since nearly every container is on a chassis …”. [Because “wheeled” operations allow for single tier stacking only, much valuable acreage is wasted. Our system positions containers in four tiers, on movable carriages, requiring no valuable acreage for use as static aisles.]
• “ … containers can quickly be spotted …”. [Our system cannot lose track of containers.]
• This “first-ever use of active RFID technology … replaces technology that required drivers with tracking equipment to search up and down rows …”. [The inference is that all other terminals are still in a primitive state. In truth, the RFID “technology” is also primitive.]
• “… up and down rows …”. [Our system eliminates “rows” and static aisles.]
A “wheeled” operation wastes space in order to save time. A “grounded” operation wastes time in order to save space. It’s a loser either way. Our system saves both time and space. We can’t lose.