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AntoinetteHodes
Employee
Employee

Streamlining supply chains | The impact of IoT on transportation and logistics

transport.jpgFigure 1: Use Cases 

IoT that is reshaping the way businesses navigate the complexities of supply chain management. In today's interconnected world, where speed, accuracy and sustainability are immensely important. Traditional fleet management and tracking shipment are no longer sufficient in the landscape of global commerce. Let’s take a look at fleet management in this case and what it is all about. Fleet management refers to the process of overseeing, coordinating and managing an organization’s fleet of vehicles, think of trucks, vans, cars, ships, or even aircrafts, to ensure efficient and effective operations. Now combine fleet management with smart transportation and logistics. Imagine a pallet, parcel, and vehicle are infused with intelligence, constantly communicating its whereabouts, condition and performance, all in real-time. This allows organizations to make well informed decisions based on data-driven insights provided internet connected goods and the fleet. We are in the era of the “smart supply chain”.

Instant efficiency at your fingertips

IoT has revolutionized fleet management, bringing unparalleled efficiency and control to logistics operations. By equipping assets like that pallet, parcel or vehicle with smart sensors and connectivity, businesses can now monitor and manage their fleets and goods in real-time. With smart fleet management organizations can track vehicle locations and fuel consumption, optimize routes, manage driver performance. Furthermore, IoT offers enhanced safety by providing alerts about specific driver behaviors, resulting in improved driver safety and overall reducing accidents. Plus, maintenance optimization like health, detecting mechanical issues and scheduling predictive maintenance will result in reduced downtime and increased vehicle lifespan. IoT-powered fleet management systems have become useful tools for enhancing productivity and reducing costs.

The road to smart logistics

Gone are the days when people mistakenly lost track of assets. With IoT-enabled asset tracking, businesses can now keep a watchful eye on their valuable goods throughout the supply chain. Another benefit of attaching smart sensors to shipments is that companies can monitor factors like temperature, humidity, condition, location and utilization in real-time. Think of so-called Cold Chain management, IoT sensors monitoring refrigerated containers and trucks. IoT sensors ensure the integrity of perishable goods, reducing spoilage and makes sre that organizations comply with food safety standards. Smart asset tracking not only ensures the integrity of sensitive cargo (i.e., pharmaceuticals) but also allows for timely interventions to prevent potential disruptions and improve overall supply chain visibility. Another huge benefit is alerting from the asset itself. Let’s use the example of smart, internet connected container. It can alert about unauthorized movement (i.e. theft).

Supply chain optimization drives business excellence

IoT is offering organizations to get data analytics and actionable insights into inventory levels. Armed with this information, organizations can make well informed decisions, minimize stockouts or overstock situations. This so called predictive analytics improves the overall supply chain. An example of this is warehouse automation with usage of robotics. Reducing labor costs and minimizing errors in tasks like inventory management, order picking and packaging. Furthermore IoT empowers organizations to meet customer demands faster and more effectively.

The key to operational reliability, predictive maintenance

Unplanned downtime can be a logistics nightmare. IoT and internet connected assets (fleet, machinery and goods) give organizations the opportunity to collect analyze this data. With that knowledge they can proactively identify potential maintenance issues before they escalate into costly breakdowns. Real-time monitoring of engine performance, tire pressure, engine data and other critical parameters allows for timely maintenance interventions, ensuring that transportation fleets and logistics equipment keep running smoothly, minimizing disruptions, and maximizing operational uptime.

Logistics 2.0, IoT’s smart way forward

Here are some specific examples of how IoT is being used in the logistics and transportation sector:

  • Maersk implements IoT sensors and predictive analytics for fleet management. By collecting data on engine performance, fuel consumption, and other metrics in real-time, Maersk can anticipate maintenance needs and schedule preventive measures to minimize downtime and reduce costs.
  • UPS is using IoT to track the location of its delivery trucks in real time. This information is used to optimize the delivery routes and reduce fuel costs. Here an example of critical medical supplies and equipment.
  • FedEx is using IoT to track the temperature of its packages in transit. This information is used to ensure that the packages are not damaged during shipping. More information here.
  • DHL is using real-time inventory tracking to monitor the movement of goods throughout the supply chain, enabling precise tracking of stock levels and locations.
  • The Port of Los Angeles is using IoT to track the movement of cargo ships. This information is used to improve the efficiency of the port operations.
  • Amazon employs IoT-enabled warehouse management systems for smart logistics. Thes smart warehousing solutions utilize automated guided vehicles (AGVs), drones, sensors and cameras to optimize storage space, monitor inventory levels and streamline operations, ensuring efficient order fulfillment.
  • Nestlé, a renowned food and beverage company operating in Europe, implements IoT sensors for cold chain monitoring. An example of cold chain monitoring can be found here. Their system tracks temperature, humidity and other environmental factors during the transportation and storage of perishable goods, ensuring product quality, safety, and compliance with regulatory standards.

Deliveroo, a popular food delivery platform serving various European cities, leverages IoT technologies to optimize last-mile delivery operations. They utilize GPS trackers, route optimization software, and innovative delivery methods such as drones and autonomous robots to ensure timely and efficient delivery of orders to customers

Secure routes pave the way for smooth logistics journeys

Cybersecurity plays a critical role in the transportation and logistics realm. Cybersecurity measures are essential for protecting sensitive data, ensuring the integrity of operations, and preventing disruptions that could have far-reaching consequences for businesses and consumers alike.

Here an overview of incidents in that vertical (just to name a few):

How IoT is shaping the future of transportation and logistics

The logistics and transportation sector is embracing the IoT revolution with open arms. IoT combined with AI (ML and DL) is massively improving asset management and utilization throughout the entire supply chain. From real-time tracking and monitoring, optimizing Last-Mile delivery, warehouse automation and inventory management. IoT is not only here to secure, but is also reshaping the IoT ecosystem in transportation and logistics sector. The integration of IoT with emerging technologies like blockchain will further enhance supply chain visibility, traceability and efficiency. Through the utilization of connectivity and data analytics, organizations have the ability to unlock enhanced levels of operational efficiency, improved visibility and customer satisfaction. The future of logistics and transportation has arrived, and it's powered by IoT!

3 Replies
the_rock
Legend
Legend

Great read!

Andy

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AntoinetteHodes
Employee
Employee

Thanks Andy!!! Have a great weekend

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the_rock
Legend
Legend

You as well and keep these articles coming, I love to read them.

Andy

 

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