At the rate technology is advancing today, it’s hard to believe the internet as we know it has been around for less than 30 years. Since then, mobile technologies, cloud computing, and advances in industrial applications have ramped up efficiencies in just about every aspect of every kind of business, including global logistics. Arguably, even more so than it has penetrated our personal lives.
These days, smart consumer technology is a mainstream affair. From connected appliances to fitness trackers, smart speakers, virtual assistants, security systems, home comfort, and more, the internet of things (IoT) is a household must-have.
However, whether we realize it or not, IoT has been working hard behind the scenes. Along with RFID and the cloud, it has changed the face of industry by improving efficiency and lowering the cost of doing business from end-to-end.
All things considered, nowhere have we seen a greater impact from IoT than we do in logistics and the global supply chain. When companies can track, trace, and manage their assets and shipments with pinpoint accuracy, we all reap the benefits.
How IoT supports efficiencies in global logistics
Lost, damaged, spoiled, or misplaced shipments result in significant losses for companies. The cost of these losses is often passed along to the customer, resulting in higher prices for the goods we buy.
IoT optimizes logistics and enables quality control and accountability in many ways:
For temperature-sensitive loads, sensors connected to IoT devices can monitor temperatures and conditions within shipping containers, immediately alerting stakeholders to any changes that may result in a loss. Action can be taken before loss occurs, assuring the quality of the product on arrival.
IoT improves delivery logistics by optimizing routes and carriers according to real-time conditions. Items in the load can be tracked at a granular level. This ensures that the shipper knows precisely where their items are in transit, giving customers a reliable tracking solution and minimizing loss and delay.
Fleet management is another way that IoT supports global logistics. From monitoring engine function to managing maintenance schedules, every aspect of a vehicle’s lifecycle can be tracked, 24/7. Breakdowns can be anticipated or avoided entirely, and when delays do occur due to a failure of any kind, a solution can be implemented quickly to ensure a speedy resolution.
IoT supports hazardous materials shipping such as explosives, gases, corrosives, radioactive materials, and more. It enables real-time tracking and quality assurance, optimizes routes to reduce risk, and detects dangerous situations before loss occurs. The integrity of IoT data also supports hazardous materials compliance efforts, ensuring business continuity.
IoT innovation provides opportunity
There are so many ways in which IoT supports new efficiencies and opportunities for the global logistics industry. It allows companies to scale quickly while simplifying their operations, allowing a business to thrive, even in the face of a volatile trading economy.
Thus far, IoT has been a significant driver of cost reductions and accountability. But, with wider adoption, we will likely see an even greater increase in savings, reliability, safety, and transparency.
If you would like to learn more about what IoT can do for your global logistics business, reach out today.