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RFID Trials at FedEx Dissappointing

A Computerworld article reported on 30 March 2005 that FedEx trials on RFID were showing significant scanning failure rates. The article was based on a talk by FedEx Asia Pacific CIO Linda Brigance at the Wireless Enterprise World conference in Sydney held on 21-23 March 2005. In summary, the results of the FedEx trials concluded that:

FedEx currently gets 99.9% accuracy in scanning barcodes, so moving to RFID would be considered a step back for FedEx, who shift 5.5 million packages globally with each package needing to be scanned on average between 15-20 times.

FedEx are not discouting RFID, but expect that the technology will take several years to mature and reach scanning failure rates that are comparable to current barcode scanning technology. At this stage, FedEx will confine RFID to the deployment of the technology to locate their trucks in parking lots.