Shippers slow to adopt RFID technology

Published 11 October 2007

The ISO has finally released a standard based on active RFID, but many users prefer passive RFID, or none at all; in the absence of DHS mandate, adoption will likely be slow

The ISO committee concerned with cargo container security has finally released a standard based on active radio frequency identification (RFID), but many end-users would prefer to use passive RFID solutions, or none at all. In the absence of a mandate from the U.S. government, amid continuing questions about the costs and benefits of installing container security and tracking devices, the market for these systems remains largely undeveloped as forces driving and inhibiting its growth seek a balance, according to a new study from Oyster Bay, New York-based research firm ABI Research. DHS has not issued any mandate, so end-users have stepped back, maintaining a wait-and-see attitude. At the same time, a number of passive RFID technology vendors have now started working with other standards bodies to formulate a standard for less expensive passive RFID technology which, they believe, would be used for container tracking. There is interest in tracking on the part of shippers and port operators: They see it as an investment which, unlike investment in security solutions, would offer them a clear financial return.

The new ABI Research study, “Cargo Container Tracking and Security,” examines the technologies used to develop solutions for this market. It explains the roles being played by government organizations, industry groups, and individual companies, offering a discussion of the main issues and profiling the important player.