The need to optimise business processes is prompting organisations acrossAustralia and New Zealand (ANZ) to adopt radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions. The transport and logistics sector, in particular, has deployed these solutions for rail freight transport, truck tracking, and vehicle traffic management applications. Such implementations are expected to help increase awareness of RFID technology and, in turn, fuel deployments.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the ANZ RFID Market, finds that the market earned revenues of$33.0 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach$72.1 million in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 16.9 percent. The study covers the end-user segments of transport and logistics, livestock, healthcare and retail. Among these verticals, healthcare is likely to witness the highest growth during the forecast period.
"Currently, RFID solutions are used in the healthcare industry for applications such as patient monitoring, asset tracking and implant tracking," said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Research Analyst Vivek K Reghu. "However, with Australian hospitals expected to adopt ICT technologies to develop a fully integrated healthcare system by 2020, the application areas of RFID will expand."
The implementation of mandatory livestock tracking programs across ANZ is driving the demand for RFID solutions that can help establish a national livestock identification system and improve the traceability of livestock. RFID adoption rates in the livestock industry will strengthen also due to a rising concern about the cost that would have to be incurred in the case of disease outbreaks. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimates that foot-and-mouth disease, for instance, could cost the Australian livestock sector around$50 billion over 10 years.
Nevertheless, many players in the livestock industry cannot afford to integrate RFID solutions. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries estimates that the implementation of a RFID system could cost livestock owners approximately six percent of their gross profit. Besides cost, the existence of a robust infrastructure for barcode technology, especially in the retail sector, is discouraging the uptake of RFID. Uncertainty about the return on investment in RFID solutions and end users' unwillingness to move away from the current technology they use are also slowing down market development.
"As price is the biggest challenge in this market, RFID vendors in ANZ need to focus on R&D to develop high-quality products that are cost effective," pointed out Vivek. "They will do well to provide customised RFID solutions as opposed to off-the-shelf ones."