Frost & Sullivan: Government Mandates Create Momentum in Uptake of Radio Frequency Identification in Global Cold Chain

Real-time information provided by RFID allows users enhanced control of their assets

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - August 8, 2013 - The radio frequency identification (RFID) market for the global cold chain, has been moving slowly mainly due to high costs and the criticality of the technology. However, the implementation of various government mandates related to food safety and drug traceability in the U.S. and Europe, have injected new life into the market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's (, Strategic Analysis of Global RFID in Cold Chain Market research, finds that the market earned revenue of $361.6 million in 2012 is estimated to reach $1.22 billion in 2017. This research also covers food and pharmaceutical/biomedical vertical end-user segments.

For more information on this research, please email Jeannette Garcia, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
The cold chain involves the handling and management of sensitive products such as blood, biomedical items, laboratory samples, vaccines, temperature controlled drugs, meat, fruits, vegetables, and other perishable items. These critical items need to be continuously preserved in controlled and specific temperatures to avoid being damaged.

"Although various cold chain monitoring solutions help with temperature monitoring, RFID offers the complete tracking and recording of temperatures throughout the supply chain\ from production until the items reach the end users," noted Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Nandini Bhattacharya. "Users are able to gather real-time information on the location and condition of the products, allowing for rapid and informed decision making. Thus, the actionable data or information that RFID provides enables users to have complete control over the assets."

Progressively stricter government mandates and regulations now require food and pharmaceutical producers, distributors, transporters, warehouse operators, and wholesale and retail shops, to follow specific temperature, humidity, and light requirements while handling products.

"Various mandates in the U.S. and Europe, in particular, are pushing not only regional food and pharma suppliers to adopt RFID in the cold chain as a means to ensure enhanced control, but also food and pharma suppliers in other countries that are large exporters to these regions," remarked Bhattacharya.

Currently, the most preferred technologies for cold chain monitoring are active RFID and battery assisted passive (BAP) RFID. Both are proprietary technologies and do not follow any universal standard, unlike the ultra-high-frequency (UHF) passive RFID technology. The lack of standards can create incompatibility among infrastructures, resulting in potentially high implementation costs for consumers.

"Market participants and industry associations need to collaborate on an agreed platform or architecture, which supports better interoperability," concluded Bhattacharya. "As the industry moves towards using common standards, RFID adoption rates are likely to increase."

Strategic Analysis of Global RFID in Cold Chain Market is part of the Automatic Identification Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related research services include: Global Passive RFID Market, Real Time Location Systems Market, European RFID Retail Market, and South American RFID Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Strategic Analysis of Global RFID in Cold Chain Market


Jeannette Garcia
Corporate Communications – North America
P: 210.477.8427

Twitter: @Frost_Sullivan
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