IoT is becoming an integral part of several industries across the globe, including logistics. The global IoT in the Logistics market is expected to reach $93.5 billion by 2028. The significant influence of IoT in this industry has led to several improvements and has made the business more efficient and proactive.
In the past, when supply chains were troubled by several hidden costs and a decrease in customer satisfaction levels, the inclusion of IoT gives these businesses better insights, real-time information, and better control over the products in transport. All the more, such additions have several advantages for perishable goods as they can reach their destination on time and without any wastage.
Why do Perishable Goods Need Optimal Transportation?
Supply chain problems lead to extensive amounts of food wastage across the globe. In North America alone, over 40% of the food becomes non-consumable before it reaches customers. With this much food going to waste, addressing the global poverty and hunger problem is a monumental challenge.
The inclusion of IoT gives the supply chains a better way to manage food and other perishable goods that cannot survive the trip. The importance of saving these goods is such that it will help the industry save billions of dollars every year.
According to a study by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the major reasons for food loss and waste includes;
IoT can address the majority of these causes if the technology is executed in the right direction. From managing the trip to gaining real-time information about the same, IoT has multiple applications for the logistics industry.
Refrigerated shipping has been included in the supply chain management, but it needs more precise control settings to take care of the perishable goods. These are the goods that cannot stay in their optimal condition after 1 or 2 days.
Even to survive for these two days, these goods need the right conditions. Hence, temperature-controlled refrigerated trucks play an important role here. With the limited amount of time allowed to the transporters, any sort of sudden delay can make things worse.
A traffic jam that lasts for more than 6 hours will delay the delivery. But it will also decrease the shelf life of perishable goods same time. An IoT-enabled supply chain management system provides real-time information about the goods, vehicle health, driver behavior, traffic and weather updates, etc.
Let’s check out how IoT can bring a significant change in the transportation of perishable goods.
How Can IoT Help with the Transportation of Perishable Goods?
Supply chains today are globalized, where inter-continental logistics is possible. Customers are ordering goods from suppliers that are thousands of miles apart but still get the products they need. But one of the major issues with perishable goods that we have talked about earlier is timely delivery without compromising the quality of the goods.
The existing issues like fragmented markets, fewer margins, and delayed deliveries can be addressed easily with IoT. Let’s see how IoT can be implemented to optimize the transportation of perishable goods.
Automation and Control
To transport perishable goods across long distances, maintaining the right parameters is essential. IoT delivers new capabilities with connected devices, which can be used to improve all types of systems and applications of these devices. The extensive amount of control and automation delivered by IoT can be used to automate the settings and keep them at an optimal level throughout the journey.
Perishable goods, like meat, milk, etc., must be kept at a specific temperature. Throughout their journey, these products need to be kept in the same condition as recommended. An IoT-enabled transport vehicle will automatically set the optimal temperature according to the requirements.
It will constantly check the product’s condition in real-time and adjust the temperature control system accordingly. The precision and efficiency of an IoT-enabled vehicle helps preserve the goods even during an emergency. It becomes easier to control the damage and deliver the goods in near-perfect condition.
The fact that all these measures are set in motion automatically plays a significant role in the preservation and transportation of perishable goods.
Cold Chain Logistics
Cold chain logistics means operations looking after the transportation of temperature-sensitive goods. The inclusion of IoT provides more accurate reporting of the goods, vehicle, and drivers. Moreover, everyone connected to the system is instantly informed about the real-time position of the vehicle and the goods inside.
Transport managers sitting in their offices can keep track of the vehicle’s position and the goods inside. There will be notifications about changes in temperature, humidity, and other parameters inside the refrigeration unit.
With this information, these managers can preemptively plan the next steps keeping in mind the condition of the goods and route ahead. The managers and the drivers have real-time information about goods from the point they begin the journey to the exact point of the delivery.
As a result, everyone will have clear information about the goods, removing any sort of information gaps.
Time and Temperature Control
Food contamination during transport is one of the major issues troubling the perishable goods logistics industry. With huge amounts of food rendered unhealthy for eating at the time of delivery, this food goes to waste.
Customers reject the entire batch of goods because of the contamination in some of the loads. As a result, there are delays in the entire supply chain. Large-scale shipping organizations often have to deal with this problem. But IoT can help these organizations take the right measures and ensure that every item in the load is delivered in perfect condition.
The time and temperature control feature provided by the IoT system allows transport managers to control the temperature from their offices. The connected devices capabilities deliver real-time information about the changes in the route, probable delays in delivery times, and much more.
With this information, the transport managers can modify the conditions in the refrigeration unit to maintain the quality of the perishable goods inside.
Notifications and Warning Messages
Another important element of a flawless delivery is gaining instant information. IoT-enabled refrigeration units easily provide the information drivers and transport managers need, but they go one step ahead.
The transport managers and drivers also get real-time information about the vehicle’s health, route, and weather conditions. They will get warning messages about the truck’s health before the problem manifests. As a result, the respondents can take the necessary action.
The same applies to route and weather information. With real-time information about the route and weather ahead, the drivers can change the route well before time to ensure the delivery time is not extended.
Real-Time Tracking and Error Detection
GPS trackers installed into the delivery vehicles are IoT enabled. This means that they will transmit the accurate location of the vehicle to the stakeholders at all times. The logistics industry can immensely benefit from this feature as knowing the estimated delivery of the parcel is important in customer satisfaction.
According to a report by DispatchTrack, 90% of customers want to know their order status. They need to know its location and the estimated time of delivery. Not getting this information leads to frustration, and without a proper system, the deliveries get delayed.
So, IoT systems, with the help of geofencing technology, deliver the accurate and exact locations of the driver to the transport managers. Any discourse from the set route is notified, which means the manager can provide exact information to the customers and reduce their frustration.
The Internet of Things is quickly becoming an essential part of every industry because of the benefit it delivers. Yes, there may be some implementation challenges, especially related to the costs. But it’s a one-time investment for the businesses, and they can reap the benefits for years to come.
At Intuz, we help organizations choose and implement the perfect IoT system they need for their processes and operations. Contact us to learn more about how IoT can help your business progress and succeed.