Optimizing Logistics and Transport with IoT Solutions
IoT is revolutionizing the global logistics and transport industry. Intelligent sensors, trackers and smart devices are helping us to improve the overall logistics efficiency and last-mile customer experience. In this article we will discuss various IoT use cases for the logistics and transportation industry.
IoT Logistics Solutions: Improving Efficiency and Tracking
The use of IoT technology can significantly improve the overall efficiency of the end-to-end logistics processes. As products get shipped out, IoT can support by sending real-time updates about the exact location and estimated time of delivery.
These real-time updates also contribute to making the last-mile delivery more efficient. Delivery staff can be dispatched when a recipient is actually at home, reducing unnecessary trips that may even lower traffic congestion and pollution in big cities.
IoT may also be used to improve fleet management, freight delivery and to achieve the best route optimization. The most efficient and safest route can be calculated based on IoT data about weather and traffic conditions. In warehouse management IoT can provide automation by providing live updates on order fulfillment and tracking of assets.
IoT for Logistics: Enhancing Fleet Management and Optimizing Routes
IoT technology is often used in fleet management to optimize and improve travel routes to destinations. IoT can help monitor the location of goods and delivery vehicles in real-time. This can be done by collecting and analyzing data provided by sensors, cameras, and location services. The IoT data provides valuable insights into the delivery truck’s efficiency and speed, which may also help in improving the safety of drivers.
The same IoT data may also be used to keep a close look on live traffic congestion and severe weather warnings. Based on this data the driver’s route can be optimized further. One practical example is using the live IoT data to avoid road closures, so that the most favorable and fuel-efficient route can be calculated prior to departure.
Fleet management companies are also discovering the benefits of IoT technology, which can help them to prevent stolen goods and damage to products while in transit. IoT can support both shipment companies and recipients by providing detailed insights in the entire shipment process.
IoT Transport: Improving Safety and Security of Cargo
Thanks to IoT technology the overall security and safety of cargo shipments can be improved. Sensors and cameras offer rich data and insights in the exact location, handling, and conditions that the goods were in while in transit. The IoT sensors can report accurate data on the exact temperature and humidity statistics. IoT data can also be used to identify any shocks or drops that may have caused damage to the shipments.
Sensors and location trackers could also be used to detect any unauthorized opening or theft of shipments. The data can be processed and stored in a special IoT-cloud or even on the blockchain. Thanks to IoT blockchain technology in the logistics, transport and shipping industry, all the records are visible to anyone in a public database that cannot be corrupted. This helps to ensure that the data cannot be changed or manipulated.
IoT for Warehouse Management: Automating Inventory Management
What are use cases of how IoT technology can be used to automate inventory management? For example, by monitoring the location and condition of goods in warehouses in real-time IoT devices may be attached or included in packages as part of a warehouse management and inventory strategy. Then while these packages are in transit, the IoT devices can report on live location, condition, remaining stock, and expiration dates. IoT devices can help to make the logistics process of fresh goods safer and allow it to operate more efficiently.
IoT Logistics Sensors: Improving Quality Control and Process Optimization
Many businesses have started using IoT sensors to improve quality control. By monitoring environmental variables such as temperature, pressure and humidity further process optimization can be achieved with the help of IoT. The IoT sensors and devices can be implemented in various parts of the production lines. IoT data can be used to forecast when maintenance is required and to lower the risk of errors in the production process.
IoT in Supply Chain Management: Improving Tracking and Logistics
The overall supply chain can be improved significantly thanks to the tracking capabilities of IoT devices. The IoT devices can be included in or attached to the shipping box, which allows it to report on the exact location as well as live environmental data. If the goods are sensitive to sudden changes in environmental conditions, the delivery route of the shipment can be changed to avoid any irregularities that may compromise the quality of the products.
IoT in Predictive Maintenance: Reducing Downtime and Maintenance Costs
IoT technology can be used to predict and prevent equipment failures, reducing downtime and maintenance costs by identifying potential issues even before they occur. IoT can report on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature changes and humidity for machines in the production line. This can help prevent damage to machines.
The same IoT data can also be used to predict when planned and preventive maintenance is required. The data can be sent and analyzed in an IoT cloud. Analytics of big data generated by IoT can help to make the production process safer and more efficient.
IoT in Real-time tracking: Improving Visibility of Assets
IoT technology can be used to improve visibility of logistics assets by monitoring the location and condition of goods, vehicles, and equipment in real-time in many ways. Shipping companies and recipients can track the live location of shipments by attaching IoT devices to the goods. Or by simply including them in the box.
Frequent scanning of barcodes or RFID tags throughout the shipment’s journey can provide live location and, in some cases, even live GPS location tracking. This real-time data can help lower the shipping times and it can improve the customer’s experience, since they know exactly when they can expect their package to arrive.
IoT in Asset Management: Automating Asset Monitoring and Maintenance
IoT technology can be used in various use cases to automate asset monitoring and maintenance. For example, by monitoring the performance and condition of assets, providing real-time alerts and diagnostic information. The sensors can monitor environmental conditions and any deviations that might have an impact on the operational quality of machines.
The data can also be used to identify areas where further improvement and optimization is possible. The IoT devices and sensors can be connected to special cloud-based IoT software, for data processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
IoT in Cold Chain Logistics: Maintaining Temperature-sensitive Cargo
IoT technology can be used to maintain the climate conditions of sensitive cargo by monitoring the temperature and humidity in real-time. For example, by attaching or including IoT sensors in the shipment box, which will then be scanned multiple times throughout the logistics process.
The data can be used to identify areas where the freshness and quality of products may have been compromised. In these scenarios the same IoT generated environmental and location data can also be used for insurance claim purposes.
IoT in Last-mile delivery: Improving Customer Experience
Thanks to the real-time data capabilities of IoT, logistics companies can improve the last-mile experience of their customers. IoT enables this by providing real-time location updates and track & trace services for recipients of shipments. Customers know exactly when their package will arrive thanks to IoT location sharing and estimated time of arrival.
The same IoT technology can help notifying customers if there is any expected delay. Once a package has been delivered, IoT technology can help validate when and where the package has been delivered thanks to scanning of barcodes, RFID and QR codes.
Thanks to IoT, businesses can significantly improve the last-mile delivery experience and offer a higher quality of service to their customers. IoT technology can be used to gain a competitive advantage and higher customer satisfaction, thanks to a great last-mile experience.
Looking for a provider of IoT for Logistics?
Does your business want to create a competitive advantage in logistics, transport and improve your customer’s last-mile experience? Then contact TNF Solutions: a global IoT services provider specialized in optimizing logistics and transport with IoT Solutions. TNF Solutions offers a wide range of IoT sensors, beacons and devices to help transform your logistics and transport processes.
Contact us to learn more about IoT cloud and application development, our satisfied customers and our use cases for IoT in logistics and transport.