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Enhancing competitive advantage with radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled returnable transport equipment (RTE)

Published Online:pp 3-26https://doi.org/10.1504/IJITM.2013.051628

Fierce competition within the third party logistics (3PL) market has developed as providers compete to win customers and enhance their competitive advantage through cost reduction plans and creating service differentiation. 3PL providers are expected to develop advanced technological and logistical service applications that can support cost reduction while increasing service innovation. To enhance competitiveness, this paper proposes the implementation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled returnable transport equipment (RTE) in combination with the consolidation of network assets and cross-docking. RFID enabled RTE can significantly improve network visibility of all assets with continuous real-time data updates. A four-level cyclic model aiding 3PL providers to achieve competitive advantage has been developed. The focus is to reduce assets, increase asset utilisation, reduce RTE cycle time and introduce real-time data in the 3PL network. Furthermore, this paper highlights the need for further research from the 3PL perspective.

Keywords

radio-frequency identification technology, RFID technology, supply chain management, distribution network, third party logistics, 3PL, returnable transport equipment, RTE, competitive advantage, cross-docking, consolidation, visibility, asset utilisation, real-time data

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