The dynamic shift towards a digital and intelligent world has led to the emergence of various new and high-tech technologies. Among these innovations IoT stands above the rest, evolving at a remarkable rate, and providing benefits that were never seen before.
The hype of this technology is so immense that even cost-intensive and conventionally operating industries like oil & gas and manufacturing have started adopting it. It wasn’t just the hype that made IoT prevalent all around the industrial spectrum. Its benefits in the fields of remote monitoring and telematics were the main factors that helped it to become a recognized disruptive technology that connects the entire world.
Even though the Internet of Things has not reached its full potential yet, its benefits, especially for industries, cannot be underrated. One such industry that has benefited the most from the implementation of IoT is the industry of logistics.
Logistics companies play a crucial role in facilitating the transportation of goods from one location to another. IoT technology helps these companies to streamline their business processes and enhance visibility in the end-to-end delivery of products.
IoT in Logistics:
IoT devices are expected to reach a benchmark of 50 billion devices by the end of this year and the logistics industry will own the majority of them.
In 2016, the largest chunk of the entire global market presence of IoT was garnered by the segment of transportation and logistics. The global connected logistics market is again expected to grow by a CAGR of 30% until 2020.
Clearly, logistics is among the biggest playfields for the cutting-edge technology of Internet of Things. Companies in this vertical are leveraging the benefits of this technology to optimize their process execution practices and improve their overall efficiency of delivering the shipment.
IoT mainly revamps the two major verticals of a logistics industry namely warehousing and delivery. Both these segments take care of the goods while they are stored or delivered respectively. Let us explore the benefits of IoT in both these segments.
Benefits of IoT in warehousing:
1) Advanced Security and Safety Systems:
Keeping assets secure from theft is an essential aspect of any warehouse management system. IoT creates a secure environment via its advanced surveillance system that allows warehouses to keep their goods and articles secure from robbery.
Along with HD cameras and proximity sensors, IoT creates a complete surveillance system that allows warehouses to quickly detect theft. The handlers of warehouses can also gain alerts about theft in the form of a video from remote locations, which gives them ample amount of time to take necessary actions and contact the concerned authorities.
Furthermore, IoT also allow a logistic business to ensure the safety of their valuable workers and employees by reducing the possibilities of accidents. By monitoring the condition and performance of their heavy equipment and machines, companies can predict possible failures that can result in catastrophic situations.
2) Improved Quality and Performance:
IoT creates a connected infrastructure in the warehouses through RFIDs and sensors. These devices help a company to monitor parameters like temperature and humidity that can deteriorate the quality of the goods being stored in the warehouse. The connected ecosystem allows a warehouse to create a suitable environment for goods, whose quality depends on the environmental conditions.
Moreover, this ecosystem also helps logistics to boost their overall efficiency and improve the execution of different processes. Warehouses have clear visibility into their inventory levels that help them to manage their buffer stocks. Furthermore, the RFID tags help handlers quickly identify the location where the items are stored and get them prepared to be shipped at a moment's notice. Hence, all the tasks in the warehousing are optimized which results in boosted performance.
Benefits of IoT in Delivery:
1) Vehicle Tracking:
Delivering products to their destination is the primary purpose of any logistics company. Fleet vehicles like trucks are hence their most important assets. By using IoT capabilities, logistics companies can track their vehicles from remote locations and ensure timely cargo delivery.
This vehicle tracking makes use of GPS location tracking to identify the location of trucks while they are traveling. Logistic companies can remotely monitor:
- driving habits of drivers,
- weight of the truck,
- preferable trailer conditions in which cargo is being delivered,
- truck condition and performance.
By measuring and analyzing these parameters, logistics companies can make sure that the goods are being delivered safely. Moreover, these companies can use the data to reduce fuel costs, conduct on-board diagnostics, and ensure timely shipment delivery.
2) Predictive Analysis:
As we discussed above, IoT allows logistics companies to analyze data and develop useful insights. By using predictive analytics features, companies can get notified about probable component breakdowns or engine failure of a truck that can affect the delivery of items on time.
The data related to the route taken by the trucks, their speed, and road conditions can also be processed to determine the best routes for the fleet. Additionally, this feature of IoT can also be used to detect inefficiencies in the trucks and detect unexpected malfunctions that can delay the delivery of products.
Logistic companies are now leveraging the technology of Internet of Things to boost their operations and gain visibility over their end to end supply chain. This transparency is further enabling them to keep a track of their goods, whether they are stored in a warehouse or are conveyed via fleet trucks.
This further helps these businesses to enhance their process execution and provide timely delivery services to their customers.