How RFID works at FloraHolland

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
January 27, 2011 - MMH Editorial

This story first appeared in the February 2007 issue of Modern Materials Handling

FloraHolland, Naaldwijk, Netherlands

Employees: 1,700 total employees
Annual Sales: $2 billion euros
Size: 1 million sq ft
Products: Fresh cut flowers
Throughput: 10,000 trolleys per day

The evening before delivery, buckets of fresh flowers are loaded onto trolleys at grower locations near the distribution center. Each trolley is uniquely identified with a permanent RFID tag. Once the trolleys are loaded on a truck, the grower sends an advance ship notification via EDI to FloraHolland. That information is also used to create a license plate bar code that identifies the flowers on the trolley.

Only the bar code is scanned at the receiving dock to check in the load. Using a touch screen computer, FloraHolland’s receivers grade the flowers based on freshness and quality. They also manually enter the trolley’s ID number from the RFID tag into the system. The trolley information and bar code information are now linked in FloraHolland’s database.

Once received and graded, the flowers are delivered by a tugger to cooling areas, where they are stored until the daily auction begins. RFID reader antennas mounted at strategic locations in the floor track where the trolley is located and the length of time it takes to deliver a trolley from the dock to the cooling area.

Trolleys are pulled through the auction area by a chain conveyor. An RFID reader scans the RFID tag on the trolley. Based on that scan, information about the flowers on the trolley is retrieved from a database and displayed for buyers on an LED readout.

Once the flowers have been purchased, trolleys are delivered to a distribution area, where they are stored until the buyer takes ownership and arranges for delivery.


RFID blooms in Holland for FloraHolland
At FloraHolland, RFID technology moves flowers from the receiving docks to storage areas.



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.

Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.

With a 0.8 cent decrease, this week’s average price per gallon is $3.835 and stands as the lowest price since hitting $3.844 the week of November 25, 2013.

LTL carriers are rapidly investing in expensive, on-dock, three-dimensional size measurement capturing machinery, and they are hoping one day of being able to more accurately charge shippers rates based on the actual dimensions of their shipments, rather than the traditional weight-and-distance-based formula that has been in effect since the 1930s or even earlier.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that its Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) dipped 0.9 percent from May to June.

Article Topics

News · RFID · Technology · Best Practices · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.