Increasingly, as countries across the globe seek to minimise their environmental impact, road freight is being replaced, where possible, by more sustainable modes. (See Intermodal Freight) Containerisation means that it is now very easy to transport the load by a combination of inland waterway, sea, road and rail. Through the use of RFID tags it is possible to track individual containers or the contents within them across all modes - from the factory to final delivery point. Efficiencies obtained from such a detailed understanding of stock movements have significant impacts on supply chain systems. A better knowledge of estimated departure and arrival improves efficiency of distribution and a reduction in the amount of stock at any one time. (See Just-in-Time)This asset-tracking can make a significant difference as the example.
Other innovative solutions, such as GPS enabled solar powered tracking devices, allow active transmission of location data to provide constant load tracking instead of relying on the product passing through fixed monitoring points at known gateways. As GPS becomes increasingly popular within road freight, rail freight companies are also starting to use satellite technology.