The Internet of Things, or IoT as they call it, is an
evolving trend, going leaps and bounds, surpassing every industrial node only
to transform and reinvent processes. Kevin Ashton, who first coined the term
Internet of Things in 1999, had said that the value of IoT is likely to grow year
after year. What Ashton said then seems very much evident now.
Experts and forecasts anticipate the IoT market to
experience a hypersonic growth and reach nearly 50 billion connected objects by
Though the technology has not reached its full potential, its adoption rate is
continuously increasing across industries. The logistics industry is one of those
sectors today embracing IoT heavily to streamline their business operations.
Delivery, which is believed to be the heart of
logistics, can only get better by improving operational visibility to perform
efficient and faster actions. And this can only be achieved by using IoT – let
us see how.
If there is something IoT has revolutionised in the
logistics industry then it is tracking of goods in real-time.
Amazon is the best example to explain how real-time
tracking is used in logistics. Well, the e-commerce giant uses RFID tags to
allow customers track their ordered goods right from the time they make a
purchase till the time they arrive at their doorstep. These tags are embedded
with an integrated circuit that transmits data to the users, which allows
enables the customers to track the location of their order without calling the
customer care to ask the status of reach.
RFID Journal states that the IoT brings up to 95 per
cent accuracy in stock keeping.
This real-time tracking of fleet allows monitoring
fuel costs, diagnostics and faster deliveries. Moreover, the real-time system
can also help logistics companies to keep a check on their drivers’ performance
and vehicles. The technology also increases safety and reduces inventory
The key to growth in logistics industry is to amalgamate IoT with predictive analytics. It is not just about obtaining large amounts of data from multiple connected devices, but using that data to benefit the logistics business is important. This big data can help businesses reckon better routes for their fleet, along with the efficiency of the drivers. Moreover, they can also identify inefficiencies and then improve their business processes accordingly.
Gathering valuable data is vital to determine further
actions. For instance, predictive analytics can help businesses conduct
maintenance on their devices at the right time with the help of the gathered
data, which is very important to prevent uncertain failures that could impede
and disturb the regular schedules.
Predictive analytics can also help cut operation costs.
As businesses can expect fluctuation in demand, they can easily create more
precise schedules that reduce over staffing and understaffing that may need
overtime which is usually really expensive.
Making a hassle-free delivery through precarious roads
and bad weather conditions is at times impossible. But logistic companies can
be proactive and avoid these problems by means of implementing GPS and RFID.
Data acquired from GPS and RFID helps companies stay
alert and informed about the expected delays that are imminent on their way. As
a result of this, they can find alternative routes to complete their task.
Prestigious logistics companies like DHL and Cargotec
are already using IoT since past couple of years.
DHL collaborated with Huawei Technologies to develop a Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) app, which facilitates and manages yard management efficiently for inbound-to-manufacturing logistics. This has helped the company to remarkable improvements in inbound processing time at the site.
Cargotec partnered with Tata Consultancy Services
(TCS) to develop an IoT system in its logistics platform to gather, store and
analyse sensory data. Since then, the company has been able to improve its
productivity and machine utilisation, which has helped the company on cost
savings and deliver unique value to customers.
Imagine the world without technology, or for that
matter, the logistics industry without IoT. It would be terrible!
British billionaire entrepreneur Philip Green has
rightly said: “Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new
technology, you are going to be left behind.” This applies not just to the
logistics industry, but every other business on the planet.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the future of IoT
is here to stay forever.