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How IoT Is Improving Transportation and Logistics

IoT in logistics
Digital Transformation

How IoT Is Improving Transportation and Logistics

IDC suggests that IoT spending is expected to surpass 1 trillion dollars by 2022. With more and more companies jumping on the IoT bandwagon, the above statistics holds true. Almost companies across verticals have started to embrace the power of this emerging digital technology to achieve massive success and surpass their competitors. Out of the many, the major beneficiaries of IoT are Logistics and Transportation companies. 

This post talks about the role of IoT in logistics and transportation, its benefits and use cases to help you understand the significance of Industry 4.0 solutions and their impact on the above-stated business verticals.  

How can transportation and logistics be improved with IoT

The introduction of IoT has left no stones unturned. Moving a product from one location to another was the only aim of the logistics and transportation companies then. But, the brimming competition and volatile customer demands has forced the industry to focus more on faster delivery, smart fleet management, warehouse management, etc. to ensure and deliver a flawless customer service and experience. 

IoT is a perfect choice for these companies to achieve the aforementioned goals as the smart devices are often known for their accuracy, precision through real-time data collection. The smart devices play a huge role in the transformation of logistics and transportation companies and growing number of IoT implementations across the companies ensures this. 

How IoT is used in transportation 

According to some reports, transportation would be spending $40 billion in IoT by 2020. What does this infer? Yes, the industry is all set to revolutionize the operations by leveraging the cutting-edge technology. As the transportation industry touches everyday lives, their initiative to jump on the IoT bandwagon would make theirs and consumers’ lives simple. 

Let’s get started with how IoT revolutionized transportation. 

Here are some of the areas of impact IoT has on transportation services. 

Vehicle tracking & movement

To enhance productivity and boost RoI managing the route, driver’s activity, vehicle movement, fuel consumption is important. With traditional systems failing to meet the expectations and results, the companies are looking for smart options to re-engineer their existing processes. And, IoT perfectly sets the tone for their business. 

With an IoT-based vehicle tracking and management system, it is amazingly easier to track routes, manage drivers and vehicles, control fuel consumption etc. IoT devices provide accurate real-time data to streamline the operations and alerts the users to make smart business decisions. 

Truck/trailer weight measurement

Weighing the truck with goods accurately is a challenge for most transportation companies out there, yet is a critical process. With an IoT-enabled weighing system embedded with smart sensors, measuring the accurate weight of a truck in real-time is seamless and the data can be pushed through mobile applications to the users in no time. The system also improves payload, reduces fines, eliminates guess works, and improves RoI. 

Container temperature monitoring

Maintaining an ambient temperature inside the cargo is critical to ensure safety of vehicle, driver and goods. Having an IoT-enabled temperature and RH monitoring system along with sensors, monitoring any deviations in the temperature within cargo is absolutely simple and easy. 

The data collected in real-time with 100% accuracy is transferred to the users through mobile app and web application. This solution helps to improve transparency and ensures 100% safety. 

How does IoT affect logistics

Managing multiple activities at once is daunting for most logistics companies and this apparently impacts their processes and customer service. To mitigate the challenges, the logistics experts are embracing advanced technologies like IoT to increase customer satisfaction through streamlined processes. 

A Statista report claims that the logistics companies spend on IoT will reach $40 billion in 2020 to accelerate product deliveries. 

Here are some of the areas that IoT impacts in logistics companies. 

Improved security and theft detection

Missing products and preventing intruders in a large warehouse poses a huge threat for companies. An IoT enabled system in the warehouse will provide accurate real-time data on anyone entering and leaving the warehouse during any point of time. The IoT applications also enable managers to lock the warehouse doors from a remote location without any hustles and bustles. 

Higher employee safety

Machines are always unreliable and it could easily harm any human interacting with them. To avoid that companies have started to implement IoT devices on machines to predict their behaviour upfront and alert staff about the future malfunctions or mishaps that happen once they interact. This ensures employee safety and to some extent can prevent machine failures and overhead costs associated with maintenance. 

End-to-end product tracking

Tracking the product right from warehouse, in fact within warehouse, till they reach customers is a mammoth challenge for any logistics company. IoT tracking system helps the logistics managers to track any product, its every movement until it’s delivered without any difficulty. This serves three purposes: (1) establishes transparency, (2) reduces the onus on staff, and (3) increases customer satisfaction. 

Providing business managers with advanced analytics

A business manager within a logistics company manages multiple activities at once. They are the ones that manage the product inventory, ensure storage temperature, keep an eye on environmental conditions during deliveries, and monitor efficiency of staff. Performing this real-time is a tough ask and having an IoT system offering advanced analytics will reduce the problems significantly. Real-time inventory management, delivery management and managing staff efficiency activities using IoT will simplify the operations of a business manager and this contributes to improved operations. 

Improving delivery

Real-time delivery tracking and management along with considering the environmental changes is a daunting task for most logistics staff. By coupling an IoT with RFID and GPS sensors, real-time tracking of delivery becomes amazingly seamless and allows staff to track the product till it’s delivered without any hassles. 

Benefits of IoT in logistics and transportation

  • End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility
  • Managing the Storehouse
  • Fleet Management
  • Location management
  • Inventory tracking
  • Supply chain management monitoring
  • Improved traffic management
  • Reduced energy use for transportation
  • Increasing driver safety
  • Freight Management App
  • Increased safety
  • Reduced energy use and congestion
  • Better operational performance
  • Security
  • Onboarding

Use cases of IoT in logistics and transportation

IoT Fleet management in transportation

Fleet management using IoT in transportation constitutes an interesting use case. Lack of real-time data on movement vehicle, fuel consumption, driver activities often impacts customer service and cost the company exorbitantly. With an IoT fleet management system, improvements in operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, fuel economy, maintenance cost, etc. are seamless and effective. 

Monitoring sensitive products in logistics

The problem most transportation companies have/had is tracking assets from the time of dispatch to delivery. Any delay from the prescribed path, mostly due to environmental conditions needs to assessed and fixed in-time. Some goods like milk, eggs require constant temperature maintenance to avoid potential loss. 

IoT enabled system enables the staff to manage the temperature, shock, vibration level in the room (or during the shipment) to the desired level and alerts the respective staff/driver to take instant actions. By this way maintaining the quality of the product and preventing loss is always possible. Not only that IoT sensors are used in the warehouse to identify and locate products faster. 

Conclusion 

IoT in transportation and logistics is a game changer and most companies have already started to benefit from the emerging technology. Still some companies are yet to join the bandwagon of successful companies as they lack expert advice and strategy and many fear implementation failures. Do you face these two challenges? Don’t worry. We have already helped companies with free IoT consulting and best implementation practices. Let’s talk. 

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