Internet of Things: The Future of Transportation?
Remember when we talked about blockchain and how it could help track your packages? Well, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help with tracking shipments too and works in combination with blockchain technology to deliver real-time shipment visibility.
What Is the Internet of Things?
IoT is a network of technology to collect information, usually through wearable devices. These devices can be attached to a lead, master system to collect all the data making these basic objects, smart. IoT can provide data on the location, temperature, light levels and movement of the objects they are attached to. In combination with innovative technologies like blockchain and 5G, it can be used to effectively collect data and share it with a network of interested parties.
After the data is collected and shared, software will be able to analyze the data collected to provide insights. These insights can be used to monitor the status of the shipment but can also be used to plan. Companies can use this information to better optimize their logistics processes.
How Does IoT Work in Logistics?
IoT technology can be used in several aspects of the logistics and transportation industry including warehousing, fleet management and smart containers.
- Warehousing: IoT devices can be used to track and manage inventory systems in warehouses.
- Fleet management: IoT can collect data from trucks, including driver behavior, location, fuel, and engine use.
- Smart containers: These “smart containers” can monitor the environment, movement and location of the shipment.
What Are the Benefits of IoT?
IoT in the transportation and logistics industry has numerous benefits for all stakeholders involved, including shipping companies, their employees and their customers.
These benefits include:
- Improved security and theft prevention: With monitoring and smart container technology, IoT can identify and notify when someone has opened the door to a container, flagging these if they are not supposed to be opened during that time.
- Increased employee safety: When utilizing IoT, employees are kept safe with increased monitoring of unsafe containers and inventory. This information on the state of the shipment allows employees to act accordingly in the safest manner.
- Accurate and transparent shipment tracking: With this increased and reliable monitoring, customers and companies can take advantage of real-time shipment visibility.
- Greater data collection: With more and reliable data, companies can optimize and forecast their supply chains to continue to meet customers’ shipping needs.
What Needs Work?
Although IoT is an exciting, promising technology, there are aspects that need to be improved.
- Privacy: Tracking needs to be private and secure as to not leak sensitive shipping information. This has been a concern especially with recent large-scale cyber attacks. IoT needs to be more secure to ensure this confidentiality.
- High cost: The purchase and implementation may be expensive to have this technology on all your shipments especially since IoT is so new, so there aren’t widespread options.
- Sustainability: With so many devices needed for shipments, this technology could be wasteful unless there is a way to reuse and recycle this technology once the shipment is delivered.
- Additional technology: IoT is a great way to collect information, but without additional technology like blockchain, it won’t be able to be integrated, analyzed and optimized for your supply chain.
IoT is a unique technology that we may get to see more widely adopted in the future within the logistics industry. For now, Loup can offer solutions with increased visibility with our shipment-tracking API system, ShipmentVision. Contact us to learn more.Contact Us