The Internet of Things (IoT) are frequently discussed today. The IoT is the interconnection of everyday objects to the internet to facilitate the transfer of data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The resulting data increases visibility, improves customer satisfaction and streamlines supply chain communications. How is this technology used in logistics and what are the benefits?
In logistics, IoT enables companies to easily track driver activities, vehicle location and delivery status. When deliveries occur, push messages notify designated parties such as managers. This facilitates delivery planning and scheduling in real time. It also helps businesses streamline location management and related processes like customer service and receiving.
The use of small inexpensive sensors allow companies to easily track inventory items to monitor their status and movement to create a smart warehouse system. This IoT application prevents losses, aids in confirming safe storage practices are being used while simplifying the location of items when needed. It also reduces human errors in the warehouse. This application has been adopted by many companies to enjoy these efficiencies.
Predictive analytics helps companies create effective business development strategies, improve decision making, gain deeper business insights, manage risks and much more. Internet-enabled devices aid in the collection of large amounts of data and transmits it to a central system for additional analysis. These IoT and predictive analytics systems aid in route and delivery planning as well as the identification of defects before they cause problems. This facilitates the proactive replacement of machinery parts, prevents vehicle crashes and allows for timely equipment maintenance.
There are various challenges in supply chain management including maintaining proper food handling practices and product conditions like temperature or humidity. That’s why companies and customers alike want tracing throughout the product lifecycle, from point of origin to the customer’s hands. Blockchain fulfills this need for supply chain security, transparency and traceability. It is accomplished through the placement of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and sensors to easily allow monitoring of such things as product temperature or humidity, vehicle location and stage in the transportation process. The data along the product lifecycle is recorded and saved in the blockchain, making it secure and unalterable.
Autonomous vehicles are being tested and/or used in various segments of logistics. These applications offer many benefits to companies employing them. IoT devices, combined with analytics systems, converts the large amounts of data collected into smart driving routes and directions for vehicles. This helps minimize car accidents, reduce operating costs and optimize road traffic.
Drones, facilitated by IoT, can add a fast and efficient option in logistics and ecommerce. These vehicles have the potential to automate business processes by providing smart inventory tracking, fast transportation of goods and instant in-store delivery. Plus drones are under development for freight transportation as well. Now regulations just need to catch up with the technology so it may be legally and safely used to solve more last mile requirements.
The Internet of Things continues to expand and evolve. It brings with it the potential to significantly impact and transform the logistics industry with inventory tracking, location management, driverless systems and intelligent communications. If you’d like to learn more about how you can apply the IoT in your logistics operations, call American Group. Through our experience and services, we have the ability to help streamline your shipping and warehousing processes.
American Group is a 3PL with decades of experience guiding businesses through the selection, preparation, and shipping of their freight. Contact us for assistance with your next shipment by phone at 866-553-6608 or by email at Info@ShipAG.com. We’re here to make Shipping.Simplified®.