Improving Returnable Transport Equipment Management with an Autonomous Approach

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Logistics book series (LNLO)


Challenges of returnable transport equipment (RTE) management continue to heighten as the popularity of their usage magnifies. Logistics companies are investigating the implementation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to alleviate problems such as loss prevention and stock reduction. However, the research within this field is limited and fails to fully explore with depth, the wider network improvements that can be made to optimize the supply chain through efficient RTE management. This paper, investigates the nature of RTE network management building on current research and practices, filling a gap in the literature, through the investigation of a product-centric approach where the paradigms of “intelligent products” and “autonomous objects” are explored. A network optimizing approach with RTE management is explored, encouraging advanced research development of the RTE paradigm to align academic research with problematic areas in industry. Further research continues with the development of an agent-based software system, ready for application to a real-case study distribution network, producing quantitative results for further analysis. This is pivotal on the endeavor to developing agile support systems, fully utilizing an information-centric environment and encouraging RTE to be viewed as critical network optimizing tools rather than costly waste.


Intelligence Product-centric Radio-frequency identification Returnable transport equipment Autonomous 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Systems and ManagementAston UniversityBirminghamUK

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