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6/25/2004
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Logistics Providers Ready RFID Services

DHL Solutions expands RFID service to help customers across Europe with deployments

European customers of DHL Solutions' logistics service now can call on the company to handle their radio-frequency identification tagging requirements. DHL this month expanded to companies across Europe its TagFIT RFID service, which it had been offering only to Metro AG's top 100 suppliers to help them meet the retailer's RFID-compliance mandate.

DHL aims to provide RFID services worldwide, says Clemens Beckmann, managing director of corporate development at Deutsche Post World Net, DHL Solutions' parent company.

DHL aims to provide RFID services worldwide, Beckmann says.
Once there's agreement on global RFID standards, DHL hopes to roll out the service to North America and China, too. "Our goal is to become the core logistics supplier for RFID services worldwide," says Clemens Beckmann, managing director of corporate development at Deutsche Post World Net, DHL Solutions' parent company. The company is working closely with EPCglobal on the standards issue, he says.

Logistics provider Menlo Worldwide introduced RFID services in February, and FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. confirmed they're involved in tests of RFID services. In addition to waiting for global standards to shake out, questions remain about offering services on a wide scale given kinks in RFID-tag production. There's a "near 20% failure rate on rolls of labels," says Steve Streitmatter, director of sales and pricing-system development at FedEx. "Trying to integrate that into someone's shipping process is fairly major in terms of unreliability and lost productivity."

But there's opportunity for these providers, says Bear Stearns supply-chain analyst Philip Alling, especially with smaller suppliers that soon must meet RFID mandates but don't have the resources to devote to the technology.

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