Pallet tracking technology has advanced significantly over the past two decades. RFID and the Internet of Things (IoT) are a couple of the major advancements that are prolonging the lifecycle of these assets, improving supply chains and inventory, and increasing profits. In tracking pallets, these technologies are also driving smart transformation on how products themselves are transported and tracked. The result is a smarter, more streamlined supply chain.


Since lockdown, we have seen a shortage of pallets in the UK – a factor that is adding to shipment costs. This can be attributed to a few different factors, one of which includes products lying dormant on warehouse shelves. Pallet traders have also sold off pallets to maintain cashflow and second-hand rentals are now being charged at a premium. No matter what the course looks like going forward, the need for maximised efficiency is of the utmost importance.

Pallet tracking technology is becoming the norm for many operators and industries. Here are the different ways RFID and IoT solutions form part of the smart pallet revolution and the benefits this holds.


Real-time conditions

When one thinks of pallet tracking technology, RFID and IoT sensors create opportunities for data collection that go beyond location. These technologies also allow for geofencing and allow for real-time reporting on factors such as:

  • Weight
  • Shock
  • Tilt
  • Tampering
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Moisture
  • Air quality

Systems allow benchmarks to be pre-programmed for actionable insights into changes in condition – both within your facilities and beyond. This has obvious benefits for maintaining the integrity of cargo and ensuring safety of foodstuffs and other perishable consumables.

Streamlined supply chains

Traditionally, when deliveries go missing, manufacturers and retailers are tasked with tracing the problem back to its source and working to ensure the effect on deliverables is mitigated as much as possible. RFID and IoT provide a full data overview of entire supply chains for enhanced inventory management and quality assurance. This means supply chain bottlenecks can be quickly identified and rectified. It also assists in preventing handling and collection issues. For both full and empty pallets, logistics and pallet availability is also streamlined by early identification of route inefficiencies. This is especially effective in co-ordinating third-party operators in the event of delays.

The conventional approach of manual tracking is labour intensive. RFID and IoT solutions allow for automation of this function, freeing up staff to perform other functions.

Product quality also plays a role in supply chain efficiency. It has been reported that 8 to 10% of stock loss comes down to quality issues – a problem that has a high stock replacement and productivity cost.

Overall, the task of identifying the location and source of leakage and waste is usually tricky. Especially in the case of pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs, in-transit conditions need to be consistent to avoid waste. These technologies give remote access to these insights for shipments across most of the globe.

Avoiding theft. Increased chances of recovery with pallet tracking technologies

The risk profile of a shipment depends on the nature of the inventory and whether its route goes through high-risk regions. Coverage can be tailored depending on the risk associated with the cargo. Pharmaceuticals, for instance, are especially vulnerable to theft. Therefore, the sector stands to benefit from intensive pallet tracking technologies to ensure shipments reach the correct destination.


Across all sectors and industries, data is becoming a critical component of strategic decision-making. By closely monitoring data, an array of opportunities arise for improved productivity and profitability. NFC’s pallet tracking solutions use RFID, IoT, and the Orion Data Network to prolong the lifespan of these assets and inform hitch-free supply chains.

Contact NFC Group today for more information.