Pallet, Asset Tracking
Transportation companies are invested in GPS & RFID tracking technology, capturing information faster and at a higher granularity than ever before. The hope is that higher visibility of goods will translate to improved operational processes. While more real-time data is captured, evidently it hasn't translated into the operational gains as many hoped. Manually interpreting this information is now far too slow and expensive to be realistic. On the other hand, we believe the opportunity is ripe to truly assimilate this data and put it to use using modern data analytics and machine learning.
The cost of missing pallets and other types of reusable packaging is sizeable industry-wide. For example, the Auto Industry Action Group estimated a loss of $750 million per year within the North American US auto industry, and the absolute percentage of pallet loss could be as high as 15-20% (Deloitte). Loss may occur either through misplacement of assets or through intentional theft, with misplacement generally being the larger problem (Jerry Welcome, president of the Reusable Packaging Association). While most theft comes in the form of individuals or small groups, such as use of pallets as furniture (Welcome), the threat of organized operations cannot be ignored. For example, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department task force (the Plastic Industrial Theft Task Force) recovered $7.4 million in stolen plastic pallets and containers over the span of two years, from 2011 to 2013.