The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is an organisation that has been tasked with the planning of transportation to provide economic development at a time when there has been a record increase in passengers and cargo volume. With this volume, naturally there is an increase in operating costs, one of those being the cost of auditing inventory. One way to leverage these costs is through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies.
An RFID system consists of an antenna, a tag, a reader and a host computer system with a database to store the RFID reads. The antenna emits radio signals whilst the reader emits radio waves in ranges of anywhere from 1 inch to 100ft or more, depending upon its power output and the tag frequency. When a tag manoeuvers through the correct electromagnetic zone, which has the same frequency, it detects the reader’s activation signal. The reader then decodes the data encoded in the RFID tags integrated circuit (IC) and data is passed to a host computer for processing. The purpose of an RFID system is to enable data to be transmitted by a portable device (the tag) which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. RFID container tags can be mounted on individual shipping containers. These tags can then be monitored and used for automated auditing purposes, ensuring the content of every container that is imported is taxed appropriately at each RFID-enabled port.
Research issues and objective
Studies indicate that because of the amount of congestion at ports, the tedious process of carrying out a manual audit may lead to sloppy data collection and inaccurate audits. If improved by 10%, then manpower would be reduced and more accurate auditing of inventory for export taxes may be enabled. This article argues that audits can be automated and reduce human error by 20%, which will allow for accurate tax collection from foreign exports. If we automate the process, we provide a means for using analytics effectively at ports.