IFCO SYSTEMS (IFCO), the world’s largest operator of Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh food packaging, has started a long-term initiative to add track and trace technology to IFCO RPCs. The project is a first step in creating "IFCO Smart RPCs" designed to unlock additional grower and retailer efficiencies in the fresh food supply chain while also reducing food waste and enabling additional sustainability savings.
"IFCO is committed to a culture of continuous improvement and innovation that will benefit our customers and the supply chain. The addition of this new technology is the next logical step in the evolution of IFCO RPCs," said Candice Herndon, President of IFCO North America.
"To obtain the best possible results, we have decided to partner with Real Time Intel, a proven leader in real time intelligence technology. IFCO, along with our grower and retail customers, will undoubtedly benefit from real time visibility and intelligence that can drive efficiency and sustainability benefits across the entire fresh food supply chain."
Under the agreement, IFCO and Real Time Intel (RTI) will leverage the embedded RFID technology and barcodes on IFCO RPCs across North America that will allow IFCO to more easily track RPCs and their contents. The tracking technology will provide actionable data on the path of the assets within the supply chain, empowering customers to move food more quickly and efficiently, reduce food waste, increase sustainability and allow quicker collection and processing of each RPC between trips. In addition, the tracking technology is programmed to sync with IFCO’s SmartCycle washing and sanitation process at IFCO service centers, providing another tool to ensure each RPC meets international sanitation and food safety standards
"We are excited to partner with IFCO to bring real time visibility throughout their supply chain"
"The combination of IFCO’s packaging and supply chain expertise coupled with RTI’s technology, data collection, and predictive analysis tools will result in immediate realization of significant operational efficiencies that will bring benefits to both IFCO and its customers." The digital technology started to be placed on IFCO RPCs across North America in January 2021. The new tracking technology reduces the time and resources growers and retailers use to track their shipments through the supply chain, while also providing many new benefits.
This is the first step in converting all IFCO RPC assets in North America into IFCO Smart RPCs in the coming months and years. Next generation Smart RPCs and the data they provide will allow for real time management of assets and fresh food, that will result in a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.