The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has created a new online portal to help connect OEMs and suppliers who have lost returnable transport items (RTIs) with those who have found them. The AIAG RTI Portal facilitates the process of locating lost RTIs (called orphans) and clearing them from the factory floor or warehouse where they were left. The goal is to save the industry time and money by accelerating the search-and-recovery process.
“Often, a company has RTIs on site that they know belong to someone else, but they don’t know how to get in touch with the owner or arrange a pickup,” says Lang Ware, director of supply chain products and services for AIAG. “The AIAG RTI Portal allows companies to list their RTIs or find out who is the rightful owner of an RTI left in their facility.”
Creation of the RTI portal is a direct result of the industry asking AIAG to develop a program for orphan containers piling up in their assembly plants and factories. The containers — which range from small to elaborate — cannot be re-used by the company that receives them because they are designed for specific parts manufactured by the container’s owner.
Accessible only by AIAG members, the AIAG RTI Portal is a free service that lists RTIs — including photos and descriptions — to help the owner locate and re-claim them. “Often, the rightful owner doesn’t even realize the container is missing,” says Ware.
After AIAG volunteers explored usage with OEMs for tooling and traceability, AIAG launched a soft rollout of the portal in February. Staff and volunteers are now working with manufacturers and suppliers to put information into the portal that describes the missing or found containers.
“The system has been tested, and it works perfectly,” says Ware. “All we need now to help reach its full potential is for more organizations to enter their lost-and-found RTI information so that the portal is more pervasive.”
“It’s exciting that we now have a software portal to address these orphan containers — some of which are very expensive — and get them back to their owners,” he says. “It gives everyone a chance to claim their lost containers and get them back into the loop for re-use, which also reduces dunnage at storage facilities.”
AIAG members can check out the new AIAG RTI Portal at https://rti.aiag.org.