Innovative Tech to Track Logistic Items on the Move

logistic items

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With incredible volumes of material on the move – arms and munitions, supplies, vehicles – the military needs a better way to track its equipment. The US Army is looking for solutions for in-transit visibility in the last tactical mile, from the supply point to the end user.

Transit tracking today is based on radio-frequency identification (RFID), which allows logisticians to tag and track goods on the move. But RFID has its limitations: Its infrastructure is intensive and not globally available.

Although the current active RFID uses a fixed scanner to monitor entire lots, and is widely used at airports and at the gates of military installations, it is still not an ideal solution, and also not a cheap one, according to It is massive, while the army currently needs portable deployment kits.

Savi is a sole provider for the next generation DoD’s RFID-IV contract, which has a $102 million ceiling. The company’s emerging solution would leverage widely available cellular signals as a new means to capture and communicate RFID information.

The switch to cellular isn’t technically complicated: military planners would need to add a cellular module to the existing RFID tag. That module could then be programmed to automatically report location status to the military’s in-transit visibility server.

High-value cargo might report hourly, whereas more mundane supplies could be set to check in daily or every couple of days, in order to conserve battery life in the RFID tag.

Jim Alexander, product lead for automated movement and identification solutions in PEO EIS – Enterprise Information Systems said he sees strong potential in the technology. With a cellular system, “you could get a much more granular look, a more detailed look at where my stuff is,” as compared to relying on fixed checkpoints, he said.