IPC’s RFID Services provide the services and support to posts, related to the use of the RFID passive technology infrastructure for low cost tracking of postal operations. Currently several posts are using RFID Services for e-commerce packets item tracking with no other tracking information and, in other cases, also to replace where possible barcode scanning activities by postal staff on tracked items. IPC has developed the necessary IT systems to create, capture, classify, manage and report RFID events for e-commerce item tracking purposes. IPC provides support to posts with Live RFID tracked products (Deutsche Post, PostNord Denmark, PostNL, Swiss Post)  and to several other posts participating in the RFID network and/or considering commercial roll-out of this service within their market(s).

How does it work?

A passive RFID tag is initiated and first registration is recorded in IPC’s RFID system database. Then the RFID tag is attached to an e-commerce packet by the staff of the e-seller. E-commerce packet with passive RFID tag travels in the ‘untracked’ operational flow.

Passive RFID gates at key locations within the post’s operational process (including transport and hand-over to other partners) generate RFID reads; Filtering removes duplicate RFID reads and unwanted data (“noise” like for example product tags for stock management purposes or tags used on QoS test items). RFID reads are centrally evaluated against clearly defined business rules and “qualified” to create events and events are matched to the appropriate item for tracking purposes. Customers, e-seller staff or postal experts can now consult the tracking tools and will see exactly where the item has passed in the last hours of its activity and what it current status is in the postal operational flow.

The Central IPC System stores and provides all data to all users.  

Services offered 

RFID Services team offers the following services and activities: 

  • Customer support for posts with commercial products based on RFID service   
  • RFID Network Monitoring Performance program: 
    • Monitor read rates of Live items travelling through the RFID network
    • Monitor read rates of flows without Live items by postal staff tagging real items at the outbound facility (usually the office of exchange)
  • Reporting: monthly reporting and analysis of Live Volumes & Read Rates:
    • Overview matrix for all RFID events by a postal operator to the destination countries
    • Post specific outbound view for all the RFID events 
  • Red Flow analysis: monthly follow-up on all flows with read rate below 90%; including the follow-up of the action plans to improve read rate levels with posts
  • Pilots: design and set up pilots: 
    • New flows or tracking solutions
    • Testing ad hoc approaches or solutions
  • Ad hoc support to posts: e.g. welcome/introduction for new posts
  • Specific support and assistance to posts considering introducing commercial products based on the RFID services
  • RFID Services Monitoring Committee: Posts participating in the service meet at least 4 times per year for a follow-up on RFID services and to discuss RFID tracking aspects

More information

Contact the Tracking team at rfidtrackingteam@ipc.be