The supply chain has become global. The ever increasing demand for e-commerce has meant an increase in not just customer expectations but also shipments. And the logistics industry is at the center of it as it strives to use IoT to meet the growing demands and expectations. Read the blog to understand the implications of using IoT in Logistics.
Applications of IoT in the Logistics Industry
IoT is helping numerous industries in making significant strides. As for the logistics industry, IoT helps resolve the problems around visibility, agility, and sustainability.
IoT solutions can be used from supply to warehousing to transportation. It allows for control and efficiency in the logistics industry, as was never before.
Explained below are some of the applications of IoT in the logistics industry:
1. Location and Route Management
Logistics companies require systems that help them manage their truck operations, as most manufactured goods are transported via trucks.
IoT solutions help those companies manage the location and routes by:
- monitoring the location of the trucks in real-time and remotely;
- analyzing where time is wasted on routes typically taken by workers and how system layouts can be improved;
- tracking drivers’ activities and ensuring timely cargo delivery; and
- identifying time-delaying barriers (thunderstorms, accidents, etc.) and planning delivery schedules accordingly.
2. Inventory Tracking and Warehousing
IoT devices facilitate the storage of goods and management of stock levels.
IoT solutions support inventory organization and warehousing by:
- allowing companies to keep track of their inventory items at all times—from presence to positioning;
- running automated inventory counts;
- finding misplaced products immediately; and
- ensuring safe storage of goods.
3. Predictive Maintenance
One of the critical applications of IoT in the logistics industry is the identification of bottlenecks.
IoT solutions help with predictive maintenance by:
- managing maintenance more accurately based on usage rather than time intervals;
- analyzing the performance of trucks and predicting patterns related to common breakdowns;
- sending maintenance to machines quicker by knowing their exact locations; and
- setting real-time alert systems can be used to gain alerts about probable unexpected malfunctions that can be prevented via condition-based maintenance.
4. Supply Chain Transparency
The coming together of IoT and blockchain equals the creation of smart contract solutions that enable monitoring of all the stages between the origin of the goods and their final delivery in the customer’s hands.
IoT solutions aid supply chain transparency by:
- using GPS and sensors to measure temperature, humidity, location, and other parameters from remote locations in real-time during the shipment and making sure that all the conditions of the contract are fulfilled;
- allowing data storage in the blockchain, which considerably reduces data theft and cyber-attack; and
- allowing the customers to cancel the contract if the contract is breached due to reasons like spoiled cargo or delivery delay.
5. Autonomous and Self-driving Cars
Self-driving vehicles can help logistics companies manage the assets being transported.
Self-driving vehicles benefit the logistics industry by:
- ensuring the safety of the truckers and the cargo being shipped;
- analyzing data corresponding to various shipping parameters to develop smart driving routes and directions;
- minimizing accidents; and
- ensuring timely cargo delivery based on traffic conditions.
6. Drone-Based Delivery
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones are the new media for delivering packages.
Drones can help by:
- ensuring automated process execution; and
- ensuring quick delivery of goods.
Challenges for IoT in Logistics
Even though the logistics industry can benefit from IoT solutions, there are inherent challenges in the form of staff shortages in transport, fragmented markets, and low margins.
And IoT solutions come with challenges that the industry will have to overcome if it intends to reap the benefits.
Some of those challenges include:
- The internal struggle between operation management and IT teams.
- Lack of needed skills
- Management and analysis of data
IoT can optimize supply chain management and logistics by bringing transparency and cost-effectiveness. Accurate planning and control mean less wastage of time, inventory, and resources. Optimized processes mean more consistent output.
Applications of IoT in the logistics industry are now emerging at an unprecedented rate. If you have an IoT solution, Aerion Technologies and its partner, CRINNAC, can help you develop your IoT solution for the logistics industry from ideation to the finished product.
What are you waiting for? Get in touch for a Free Consultation today!