Electronic Markets

, Volume 19, Issue 2–3, pp 125–135 | Cite as

The value of RFID for RTI management

  • Alexander IlicEmail author
  • Jason W. P. Ng
  • Paul Bowman
  • Thorsten Staake
Focus Theme


Returnable transport items (RTIs) are key elements for enabling a smooth flow of goods throughout supply chains. Despite their importance, RTIs can be prone to high loss and breakage rates. Today’s RTI management processes are rather inefficient and are based on estimates about when, where and how RTIs are utilised. This limited visibility inevitably causes the involved parties to feel less responsible for the proper management of RTIs. As a consequence, inefficiencies created by a single party can result in a significant cost burden for the whole supply chain. The goal of this paper is therefore to explore the impact of increased asset visibility on the RTI management process. We describe a solution based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and quantify its financial impact from each individual stakeholder’s perspective. Our findings suggest that RFID can provide a powerful means to counter inefficiencies in the RTI management process and improve the overall effectiveness of the RTI supply chain network.


RTI management RFID 


D82 L91 M150 C630 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Information Management, University of St. Gallen 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Ilic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jason W. P. Ng
    • 2
  • Paul Bowman
    • 2
  • Thorsten Staake
    • 3
  1. 1.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.BT ResearchIpswichUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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