DHL aims to provide RFID services worldwide, Beckmann 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.