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IoT in Transportation and Logistics

It is said that there are 100,000 freighters on the seas and that 90% of everything you have has come via container ship. The first time I saw Hong Kong Harbour from my swank room at the JW Marriott what struck me most was the number of container ships. As I scanned the waters I counted several dozen of the floating giants and imagined everything onboard was coming out of China and going somewhere on the planet.

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Photo Credit: Andrew Smith via Flickr

Once at its destination port a gantry crane unloads the containers and places them either on a truck or a rail car. Then the goods are sent off to their respective warehouses, where another delivery vehicle most likely takes it to another vendor or supplier where it might eventually end up in your garage. Just thinking about this one aspect of transportation and logistics is mind boggling. And it’s perfect for IoT.

The fine folks at Deloitte University Press have written a wonderful overview on IoT considerations for the shipping and logistics industries. Entitled, “Shipping smarter: IoT opportunities in transport and logistics,” the report highlights that while companies in transport and logistics (T&L) have always been data-driven, with specific applications like real-time tracking of shipments, warehouse-capacity optimization, predictive asset maintenance, route optimization, improved last-mile delivery, and more, they still have a huge opportunity ahead of them in IoT.

The increasing number of connected devices, embedded sensors, and analytics technologies will only increase the data and accelerate. This will lead to more efficient use of transport infrastructure, better engagement with customers, and more informed decision making. The report has four recommendations for T&L and IoT, but what I found most thought provoking was their framework that captures the series and sequence of activities by which organizations create value from information: the Information Value Loop (see below).

You can find the full report here. Further reading on the subject is listed after the graphic.



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Further Reading



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David Oro is the Editor at IoT Central

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