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Ice Cream Example

Ice Cream Shipping Example

A brand name manufacturer of ice cream located in Boston ships product to a national retailer’s distribution center in Houston, 2,961 miles away. The manufacturer uses a 3rd party refrigerated 53’ trailer to deliver 187,200 1.5 liter packages of ice cream with a retail value of $8.17 or $1,529,424 for the load/ trip. The manufacturer makes eighteen deliveries to this particular destination each year using GoTo Pallets. Each trip requires 26 G2 Pallets. The manufacture ships many more truck loads throughout the year, however, the shipping manager has standardized the trip settings and configurations from a Fast Fix menu having the right recipe for the 18 trips in this scenario. The 2,961 mile trip normally takes 60 hours from start to finish.

In this scenario, the ISO 18000 RFID Options that cost money are disabled. The ice cream packages do not include RFID tags so there is no reason to use the EPC SSCC or UHF Reader/Writer to capture RFID data about the ice cream. The refer truck transporting the ice cream does not have a DASH communications system and so there in no reason to enable this feature. The G2 Pallet otherwise includes a free EPC GRAI and NFC tag to identify the pallet, and it load by association in a database.

The IEEE 802 RFID Options are enabled by the shipping manager. The WiFi option is configured to report the departure and arrival of the pallet with the LAN at the manufacturer and the distribution center. Each WiFi report from 26 pallets cost $0.18, or $9.36 for the shipment. The Bluetooth option is configured to allow each pallet to interface for $0.07 with forklifts loading and unloading the pallet and workers with handheld devices up to four times, costing $7.28. The Zigbee option is enabled to permit all 26 pallets to form a mesh network. The Zigbee devices are connected to sensors. The temperature sensor is enabled, to monitor the conditions of the temperature sensitive ice cream every hour for 60 hours. Each sensor reading at each pallet cost $0.05. After each temperature reading all of the Zigbee tags report their reading, costing $0.04 a report. The combined actions cost $78 and $62.40, respectively for the standard pallet rental trip. The user-defined options which have enabled the IEEE 802 RFID Options provide a high degree of actionable intelligence about the pallet load during its journey from the manufacturer to the retailer’s distribution facility. This level of granularity permits the manufacturer to provide an e-pedigree for the products it has delivered.

The Cellular Options are finally configured to provide each pallet with 24/7 nationwide visibility. In this case, the lower cost CDMA cellular communications devices in two of the 26 pallets is enabled. One is for a back up. All of the Zigbee devices form a network that is hosted by the pallet with the enabled Cellular Option(s). The Cellular Option is configured to report up to 2.5 times during the 60 hour trip if everything goes okay. The Cellular device will aggregate the reports from all of the pallets throughout the day and report this data on a user-defined schedule. At the same time, a Geofence parameter is selected, so that if the transport vehicle, for example, detours 20 miles outside of the direct path to the destination, or a pallet is stolen from the back of the truck, the cell phone reports a deviation from the geofence. The costs to establish the geofence and provide air time for reporting trip data over the CDMA cellular network cost $21.90 for the each pallet load.

In this scenario, the extra electronic pallet rental fees amount to $178.94, or $6.88 for each of the 26 pallets used in the rental trip. This cost equals $0.00096 per package of ice cream. This additional cost is incurred to insure the product is delivered with an e-pedigree.

The value of the Options are realized if the refer truck malfunctions and the ice cream thaws before it is delivered to the retailer. In this case the truck load will not be accepted, representing a total loss of $1.5 million to the manufacturer. If the ice cream is accepted, distributed and sold, and a consumer becomes ill, all of the affected ice cream would be recalled impacting the operating costs of the retailer along with its reputation. The combined financial costs for the manufacturer, retailer, customer, insurer and government could be considerable and long term.

If a refrigeration unit in a refer truck malfunctioned during a Summer time delivery and a Zigbee tag records a high temperature at the back of trailer that could risk the safety the ice cream on that pallet, an SMS message could be sent to the shipping manager providing an alert. Based upon real time data emanating from the truck load the manager can quickly reconfigure the pallets using the Fast Fix App to step up their reporting frequency and if unacceptable risks existed, the refer truck could be instructed to diverted to a nearest cold storage facility where the affected pallet loads could be quarantined and the remaining recovered pallets could be diverted to new supply chains allowing a total loss to be averted.

Category Disable Enable Fee Freq. Miles Trip Duration/Hrs   Cost
RFID Options
(ISO 18000)
          Perishable – 4 days    
EPC GRAI   26 free   2961 60    
EPC SSCC 26   0.85   2961 60    
NFC   26 free   2961 60    
DASH 26   1.15   2961 60    
UHF Reader/Writer 26   0.65   2961 60    
RFID Options (IEEE 802.n)                
WiFi (RTLS)   26 0.18 2 2961 60   9.36
Bluetooth   26 0.07 4 2961 60   7.28
Zigbee   26 0.04 60 2961 60   62.4
Cellular Options                
GSM 26   1.25   2961 60    
CDMA   2 1.00 2.5 2961 60   5
Temperature   26 0.05 60 2961 60   78
Geofence   26 0.65 1 2961 60   16.9
CO2 26   0.04   2961 60    
Impact 26   0.03   2961 60    
Etc…. 26       2961 60    
Pallet rental fee:               $6.88
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