The logistics industry is going through a transformation now. Thanks to eCommerce giants like Amazon that deliver the items at your doorstep on the same day just like Aladin’s Genie!
‘Ease of buying’ is not the only reason online sales are going up. Shipping and tracking packages are equally important. The ability to receive the items you purchased online safely and quickly, and most importantly the ability to track the shipment from the origin to destination play a critical role in defining the entire online shopping experience. This is where smart logistics powered by IoT is making a huge difference.
Smart (or Connected) logistics allows near real-time tracking of movement and delivery of goods and services. ECommerce companies, app-based taxi service companies, and food delivery companies have adopted smart logistics long back and the demand for smart logistics has been increasing rapidly. A report from Market Research Engine states that the Connected Logistics Market is expected to surpass over $72B by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 32.5 percent from 2018 to 2024.
Why logistics needs IoT
Most often shipments are manually tracked only when they reach a physical facility. This approach limits visibility to only a few specific points in the supply chain. With smart logistics powered by IoT, users get real-time notification about the location and status of the shipment and the shipping companies are able to share a more accurate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). This type of real-time tracking is not possible without ingesting real-time data from the IoT devices attached to the shipment. The logistics companies are combining the data from indoor tracking (when the shipment is in warehouse/ store) and outdoor tracking (when the shipment is in transit) to provide end-to-end visibility. The high-end logistics services like Cold Chain are getting direct benefits of IoT by utilizing different types of IoT sensors to measure temperature, pressure, exposure to light and it helps them to ensure compliance.
The entire logistics supply chain benefits from IoT tracking and most importantly it delivers an elevated user experience.
How IoT adds the smartness to logistics
As a logistics business owner, you must ensure that the right products reach the right customers at the right place in the right condition and at the right time. IoT helps logistics coordinate the supply chain by keeping all stakeholders informed of the progress of the shipment. Sensors keep on collecting information throughout the supply chain and communicate it to other sensors or controllers or consumer apps to help inform and drive decisions and corrective actions. For example, some products need to be transported at a certain temperature and humidity. Appropriate sensors can notify customers or shipping carriers about any fluctuations and help them keep a check on the way the products are handled during their transportation. Power failures and battery charge levels can also be tracked to allow preventive actions to be taken when loss of power is imminent. Machine to machine communication can even automate required actions without human intervention. For example, it is really important for the driver of a cold chain truck to know if the freezer stops working, and if so then whether he will still be able to make it to the destination or he should make a quick stop. IoT platforms like Bridgera IoT makes it really simple to drive those decisions based on the data ingested from different sensors.
There is a vast array of IoT devices that can help the logistics solutions become ‘smart’. RFID solutions are great for tracking a large number of assets and are particularly suitable for warehouse management. GPS sensors along with Wi-Fi and cellular triangulation provide an accurate outdoor location of the assets and these location tracking technologies are widely used for outdoor tracking and navigation. Vehicles can be tracked with on-board diagnostics (OBD2) devices that can help control speed and warn of various engine/cabin conditions.
Smartphones have over a dozen sensors that can be leveraged in various creative ways, ranging from location tracking to speed and acceleration. The entire app-based taxi service industry (Uber, Lyft) is built around the use of a smartphone as an IoT device to track a person. An app like Bridgera TrackMe can bring the same benefit to companies who are in delivery and dispatch business e.g.- food delivery, towing truck, ambulance service.
Some of the innovative applications that are leveraging IoT powered smart logistics to drive disruption include: smart warehouse systems that keep an accurate record of real-time inventory and location of items in the warehouse, combining IoT with blockchain technology to ensure secure and transparent machine to machine transactions, self-driving cars and delivery drones are going to pose new logistics challenges in the coming years. IoT Analytics, is another emerging technology that can help improve efficiency across all aspects: from placing orders based on consumption and delivery window to predictive maintenance of vehicles based on usage to identifying safety and security risks. Clearly, IoT holds the key to making logistics ‘smart’. And the resulting convenience, comfort and control are already having a significant impact on the way we live.
How Bridgera can help
Bridgera has been developing custom smart/ digital logistics solutions for its customers using the leading edge technologies like IoT, Analytics, Mobility and Cloud. Our technology platform is the fueling engine behind creating new solutions to help logistics companies become smarter and more efficient. We can make your logistics service future-ready by utilizing different indoor and outdoor asset tracking techniques.
Please CONTACT US today to know more about our IoT solutions for logistics.