The total market for radio frequency identification (RFID) will turn over approximately $9.7 billion by 2013, representing roughly a 15 percent compound annual growth rate for the period from 2008, according to new forecasts released by ABI Research, Oyster Bay, N.Y.
“These figures highlight an RFID market that is growing robustly,” says ABI Research Director Michael Liard. “Across all product categories and flavors of RFID technology, market trends continue to be positive. We saw a strong finish to 2007, which continued into a healthy first quarter 2008.”
Part of this performance comes from several long-term RFID commitments and investments by large end-users, ABI says. This is particularly true in the passive UHF segment. European aerospace manufacturer Airbus recently announced a significant commitment to RFID technology for numerous projects throughout its supply chain and assembly operations. In January, Sam’s Club announced its RFID customer compliance program for retail consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers in the United States, while in Europe and Asia, Metro AG is interested in RFID supply chain applications. And, most recently, the US Department of Defense announced a new request for proposals RFP for passive UHF solution components.
These examples represent different vertical markets, and to them, says Liard, we can add the enthusiasm for RFID shown by energy and utilities, healthcare, and transportation (for asset management) as well as the fashion apparel and footwear sector (for item-level tagging), particularly among specialty retailers. All these demonstrate RFID’s strength across a number of industries.
Closed-loop applications continue to lead the charge, with asset management in the forefront: library/rental items, reusable/returnable containers, spare parts, tools, work-in-process, yard management and more are all popular arenas for RFID deployment.
“Future RFID market growth will come from many sources and applications,” Liard concludes. “ABI Research sees growing strength across many industries, including those applications that are unique to particular verticals, as well as those—such as asset tracking, security/access control, and supply chain management—that are common to a range of verticals.”