Francisco Melo: How high-tech tracking systems used by airlines can cut grocery food waste

RFID tag systems contain chips that store data about the product to which they are attached. They have massive advantages over inventory systems that rely on traditional barcodes because RFID chips have a unique identity, can store extensive information, can be read at greater distances, work quickly and don’t require a direct line of sight for scanning.

In 2016, a major U.S. airline replaced barcode hand scanning used since the early 1990s with RFID technology to cut down on lost luggage. The initial deployment of the technology over the course of a year tracked bags at a 99.9% success rate, compared to a rate of only 85 percent for the barcode system. This high level of accuracy can drastically reduce baggage mishandling, saving millions of dollars and lots of time.