Tracking and securing the movement of goods
As logistics and warehousing systems become more efficient, sales from brick-and-mortar retail outlets are being supplanted by e-commerce, which offers short delivery times, around-the-clock availability of information and customer-friendly conditions. Simultaneously, the wholesale sector is shifting away from established distribution channels to a dynamic, international and digitalized flow of goods.
On-time delivery, reliable goods quality and real-time merchandise flow tracking have meanwhile come to be expected. Working in the background is a highly-optimized logistics, transport and data entry infrastructure.
As globalization continues to advance, the logistics industry is becoming involved in largely electronic order and delivery processing through dynamically-changing supply and sales sources, as well as fluctuating business relationships. In this environment, both parties to the business transaction must trust and rely on the clearing system, merchandise description / quality and the deadline and quantity commitment.
That makes fast and reliable goods identification just as important as delay-free traceability from the supplier to the customer.
Against the backdrop of automated trade flows featuring quasi-anonymous intermediate stations, reliable and permanently accessible information about the origin, identity, integrity and current location of the goods is crucial. This begins with durable, error-free and machine-readable labels such as data matrix codes and RFID tags and continues on to tamper-proof and fraud resistant products and packaging. These features are particularly important in situations where a risk to life or injury stems from damaged or counterfeit goods or incorrect delivery.
In the field of commerce, Fraunhofer IZFP is therefore working on the development of labeling and scanning technologies that are damage tolerant, counterfeit resistant and fast and easy to scan. In addition to sensor-related challenges such as speed, reliability and noncontact scanning, automated image processing and pattern recognition also play a decisive role.
Trade, Logistics, Counterfeit Goods, Identification