Needless to say, the Internet of Things has become a widespread phenomenon, with connected sensors and data they generate able to benefit many industries, including logistics and transportation.Needless to say, the Internet of Things has become a widespread phenomenon, with connected sensors and data they generate able to benefit many industries, including logistics and transportation.
“Smart homes, wearables, driverless cars, drones, smart shelves, air casting – IoT use cases are smart and futuristic. With so many possibilities and opportunities that IoT bring along, businesses, irrespective of their industry, are making the most of this versatile technology. Transportation and logistics is one of them,” said a recent blogpost by Daffodil. "IoT has some far-reaching benefits for transportation businesses. Managing warehouse operations, tracking last-mile deliveries, freight transportation management is to name a few. This can be extended to some advantages such as efficiency in the system, security, customer experience and new business models."
One area where IoT can be helpful is logistics. A recent report by Allied Market Research points out the global connected logistics market was valued at US$16.8 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $27.7 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.60 percent from 2017 to 2023.
According to the post, the following are how IoT can smarten up logistics.
Needless to say, fleet management is a key part in logistics, which Daffodil says entails the planning and managing of dispatch schedule, optimizing cost and tracking goods in real-time to ensure successful last mile delivery.
“While the old-school approach for fleet management employs a manager to take care of all fleet related activities (from managing workforce to optimizing cost), it fails to keep a track of how goods are moved between the origin and destination,” the post said. “Metrics like route followed for delivery, their real-time whereabouts and the pace of fleet movement plays an important role in optimizing the trips and estimating the time of delivery. For this, advanced technological approach for fleet management comes in picture.”
According to the post, this is where IoT can come in to help. “Real-time monitoring of fleet enables businesses to make quick and smart decisions for consignment delivery. Logistics companies are accepting and regularly updating themselves with technologies that can help them with fleet management and monitoring,” the post said. “IoT technology allows transportation and logistics companies to improve operational efficiency, manage cost, fuel consumption, as well as increase response time to unexpected scenarios.”
Optimum asset management
The actual tracking of physical goods is another key element in logistics, which again can be done with IoT. “Along with information like location and status, IoT-enabled systems can give detailed info like latitude and longitude of the asset can be tracked,” the post said. “Another way IoT can be utilized in logistics is geo-fencing, which is an extension to GPS tracking wherein the location of an asset is captured with coordinates of a specific area. This ensures that an asset does not move out from a defined geographical area, eliminating delivery delays and accidental loss.”
According to the post, the Internet of Things has some advanced opportunities for the transportation industry, especially in the area of public transit management. “Tracking the real-time location of public vehicles and knowing when it is going to arrive at a particular stop makes traveling via public transport a daily challenge. With IoT making real-time tracking of vehicles possible, passengers can get an estimate arrival time (EAT) of a vehicle, ensuring that they reach their destination on time,” it said. “IoT eradicates the challenges tagged with a public transit system by tracking data through GPS devices and sending it to the central system for processing.”