RFID & GPS: Berry Real-time

Driscoll’s recently adopted a system that uses of RFID technology in order to ensure its strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are transported at an optimal temperature. Earlier this year, Driscoll’s piloted the system on strawberry shipments transported from its cooling center in California to a distribution center in Florida. By using two temperature sensors with built-in, battery-powered 2.4 GHz RFID tags, one door sensor with its own similar RFID tag, and an RFID reader wired to a GPS device carried in the delivery truck’s cab, Driscoll’s was able to view the berries’ temperatures, the length of time they were in transit, and the time it took to unload… all in real-time!

How It Works
1) The two 2.4 GHz RFID sensor tags are placed within each truck’s refrigerated trailer prior to packs of berries being loaded

2) Sensor tags are placed between berry pallets at two different spots within the trailer in order to get two separate temperature readings

3) An additional RFID sensor is placed around the closure on the trailer door in order to detect whether the door is opened or closed

4) The sensors measure the temperature levels at predetermined intervals

5) Information is transmitted every five minutes, or whatever interval you would like

6) An RFID reader wired to a GPS unit tracks the truck’s latitude and longitude and data is forwarded to a server which can then be interpreted by Driscoll management

Since knowing real-time location and temperature of the fruit is important, using RFID combined with GPS technology is quintessential. If temperatures become too high or low, an alert e-mail and/or text is sent to alert the driver and Driscoll’s staff.

The California to Florida pilot was a great success, and now Driscoll’s is employing this technology to other routes. While its too early to predict their ROI, things are looking berry good for Driscolls.

To discover what RFID technology can do for you, learn more here.