Global logistics and warehousing provider Katoen Natie has selected Ruckus Wireless’ Smart WiFi products for installation in its warehouses around the world.
Katoen Natie will outfit its inventory-management workers with WiFi scanners. While WiFi has become a “de facto technology” that's expected to be available, according to Ruckus’ Rob Mustarde, warehousing has been a bit behind the curve when it comes to adoption.
“Warehousing and logistics and that sort of space is really coming into its own now, and they’re really starting to recognize the benefits of using WiFi technology to simplify the whole process of understanding where products are and scanning them,” Ruckus’ Rob Mustarde told American Shipper
He explained the warehousing and logistics industry is lagging behind in WiFi adoption because it's more difficult to set up reliable WiFi in a constantly shifting environment like a warehouse. When metal containers are stacked in one area on Monday and then more large containers are stacked in a different area on Tuesday, it is hard to keep a traditional WiFi signal free of interference.
“Our warehouse management system cannot work without WiFi and in the high season we have thousands of workers roaming the floors, so it simply cannot fail,” Katoen Natie’s Ian De Winter said in a statement. “Having thousands of people do nothing for 10 minutes costs us a lot of money. The Ruckus gear has allowed us to keep our costs down while improving the reliability of the infrastructure and the services we can provide customers.”
According to Mustarde, the big allure of Ruckus’ Smart WiFi technology is the ability for signal antennae to adapt to their environment. He said since the antennae aren’t fixed, they can change the way they transmit data through the air if there is significant interference.
While noting there are certainly larger markets for WiFi currently out there, Mustarde said warehousing and logistics represents a large growth area for Ruckus. More customers are getting in touch with the company looking for wireless solutions.
“It’s grown from a handful of customers a few years back to multiple tens of customers now,” he said. “I suspect it will generate tens of millions of dollars of revenue for us in the years ahead.” - Jon Ross