More safety, new benefits: Printed electronics in the logistics sector

Where is a specific envelope located? Is the package guaranteed to be in its original packaging? Was the cold chain maintained? In the logistics sector, printed electronics opens up a wealth of new opportunities and possibilities—for example, for greater security and service.

Whether it is tracking shipments in real time or being able to verify at any time that agreed transport parameters such as temperature or humidity have been met: In the logistics sector, printed electronics offers both new and exciting answers to numerous requirements and issues.

For example, it can be used to equip cartons and shipping envelopes or address labels with a variety of electronic functions and sensors. This makes it easier than ever for logistics service providers to record delivered consignments, track them during transport and verify their safe receipt.

Integrated sensors can continuously record parameters such as storage temperature, humidity or light incidence, which play a decisive role, for example, in the transport of medicines, food or special technical equipment and works of art—for instance, as active controls or as evidence in the event of a dispute.

Manufacturers who fear tampering of their goods during transport, such as replacing high-quality branded goods or premium foods with imitations or inferior products, can ensure greater security by using packaging with printed electronic functionalities. One practical possibility for this purpose are sensors that record any attempted manipulation or other incidents. Provided NFC functionality is also integrated, the corresponding information can be read out via smartphone at any time as well as directly on the package.