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Applying RFID in warehouse operations of an Italian courier express company


  • Dario Pacciarelli


  • Andrea D’Ariano


  • Michele Scotto


This paper deals with the re-engineering and design optimization of a warehouse for package storage operations occurring daily at a leading courier express company in Italy. The objective of our study is to quantify the return on investment and error reduction that can be achieved by the application of advanced tracking technologies in the package management process. This study considers the use of RFID tags to facilitate identifying items in a package delivery service facility. In a first phase, we analyze the current process and show the speed-up of the operators with barcode readers compared to the operations handbook. In a second phase, we introduce radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies in the warehouse and perform practical experiments in order to detect configurations with error-free item scanning. An optimal configuration of the warehouse and of the RFID-based package management process is obtained by a non-linear optimization model that minimizes the overall technology and management costs. The probability of item errors is modeled by a maximum likelihood estimation procedure that determines the scanning area of each antenna with minimal scanning error. The new process with RFID technology reduces the costs of daily operations in the studied warehouse up to 25% and the workload of the operators up to 4 h. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Suggested Citation

  • Dario Pacciarelli & Andrea D’Ariano & Michele Scotto, 2011. "Applying RFID in warehouse operations of an Italian courier express company," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 209-222, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:netnom:v:12:y:2011:i:3:p:209-222
    DOI: 10.1007/s11066-011-9059-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olli-Pekka Pohjola & Kalevi Kilkki, 2007. "Value-based methodology to analyze communication services," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 135-151, October.
    2. de Kok, A.G. & van Donselaar, K.H. & van Woensel, T., 2008. "A break-even analysis of RFID technology for inventory sensitive to shrinkage," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 521-531, April.
    3. Ngai, E.W.T. & Moon, Karen K.L. & Riggins, Frederick J. & Yi, Candace Y., 2008. "RFID research: An academic literature review (1995-2005) and future research directions," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 510-520, April.
    4. Berg, J. P. van den & Zijm, W. H. M., 1999. "Models for warehouse management: Classification and examples," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-3), pages 519-528, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:infotm:v:18:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10799-016-0269-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leonard Heilig & Stefan Voß, 0. "Information systems in seaports: a categorization and overview," Information Technology and Management, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-23.


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