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Why all load carriers should be clearly marked

Dr. Philipp Hüning
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Added values of clearly identified load carriers

First, you can only determine load carrier-specific key figures with a unique identifier. Questions such as “How many cycles does a load carrier make with us? “Today, they mostly cause questioning faces and wild guesses. It is crucial to know based on facts whether there are differences in the lifetime of a charge carrier from different manufacturers or similar types of charge carriers. I also need a unique identifier to be able to measure how long it takes a load carrier to get back to my own company from a specific customer or partner. This is the only way to optimize these turnaround times and thus significantly reduce the need for load carriers. In addition, the clear tracking also reveals the notorious “black holes,” i.e. the places where load carriers disappear in the supply chain and must therefore be repurchased.

In addition to determining these key figures, the serial number can also be used to link objects to the load carrier. By marrying the load carrier with the goods, the bar code label can often be omitted. This saves around 10 cents per load carrier and transport process. Serialization also makes it possible to link Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices such as sensors or trackers to the pallet. As a result, they can be used specifically to monitor certain processes and do not have to be permanently installed with the load carrier. Why should you equip all 32 load carriers on a tour with a tracker when it is possible to connect the 32 load carriers to a single sensor?

A final, often underestimated, added value of serialization is the proof of authenticity. Since not every possible serial number is assigned, the load carrier can be checked for authenticity with a scan. For example, over 50 trillion variants can be created with just an 8-digit alphanumeric serial number. If a company now owns 100,000 load carriers, only every 500 millionth serial number is valid. As a result, counterfeits are immediately identified and high follow-up costs when inferior, counterfeit load carriers break.

What is important to consider when labeling?

Once the decision has been made for a unique label, the question then follows as to what needs to be considered now. In our experience, serialization projects focus too much on technology, i.e. the question of whether RFID, 1D or 2D barcode. However, the question “What information is stored in the identifier? ”. And yet the differences between the technologies are only slight.

When choosing content, the basic question is “data-on-tag” or “data-on-network.” In the first case, all relevant information, such as serial number, age, manufacturer, type, etc. is stored in the number. This has the advantage that the information can be read out even without database access. With “Data-on-Network”, on the other hand, only a serial number is encoded and all other relevant information is stored in a digital charge carrier file. These can then be played out individually, for example, partners only see part of the information or the information is displayed in the respective language.

A clever combination of the two concepts of “data-on-tag” and “data-on-network” provides the domain. In addition to the serial number, the barcode also contains a link to a website. It is therefore structured like this, for example: As a result, information can also be displayed without a system connection; the only requirement is an Internet connection. In addition to presenting information, the domain can also be used to implement interactions, such as specifying process steps, localization or signatures.

How does the logistics shop address serialization?

The logistics bude platform covers all necessary steps for serializing load carriers out of the box. To do this, the master data of the load carriers, such as dimensions, weight, documents, image and possible status, are first entered. The platform then automatically generates the appropriate bar code labels. For the identification of large quantities of load carriers, the labels can be produced by suitable partners. The load carriers can then be traced directly with the accompanying app. They are scanned and thus located, linked to goods or sensors, provided with a status and, if necessary, documented with a photo. The data generated via app or sensor is visualized live on the platform and played into the master systems via an easy-to-implement interface.