Transportation logistics is the backbone of the economy of any country
Among several fields of economy, the digital revolution of Internet of Things (IoT) Technology has had profound consequences on delivery logistics. The article discusses various ways of monitoring and tracking of goods in logistics industry using available IoT technology.
Third Party Logistics
The integration of mobile analytics, computing together with cloud services are all propelled by the Internet of Things. This reality has modified the manner in which corporate entities are carrying out their operations locally and globally. Among the prominent methodologies embraced in fulfilling deliveries in the present day corporate world is third-party logistics (3PL). The approach entails companies, which offer services that are outsourced in moving merchandise from place to place. 3PL includes such services as warehousing, transport or a complete framework, which sustains a whole supply chain. Nonetheless, assessing the ongoing trends in technology, the IoT is undergoing tremendous dynamism and consequently modifying how third-party logistics operate. IoT has influenced the supply chain in significant ways such that its management has transformed inventory logistics as well as the manufacturing sector among others.
IoT Supply Chain Management
Among the greatest trends that are composed to overturn the management of supply chain is tracking of goods. This tendency has created a way for corporate entities to make a complete overhaul in the operations of supply chain and logistics by issuing them the necessary apparatuses for frugal management of money, time and for proper decision making. In 2015, delivery corporations such as tech giant Cisco and DHL estimated that IoT innovations like goods tracking solutions had the capacity to make an impact of approximately $1.8 trillion in the logistics and the supply chain sector (Costigan & Lindstrom, 2016). While this transformation is ongoing, another survey conducted by Capgemini in conjunction with GT Nexus established that at least 73% of manufacturing and retail corporations have at present embraced a project of digital transformation in their logistics and supply chain operations.
Tracking of goods in logistics industry is not strange though in the corporate sector. Previously, the shipping and freight companies adopted a barcode scanning system in tracking and managing their inventory. However, the latest developments have rendered the same scanners obsolete, because of the limitation of collecting data on a wide range of items, neglecting the condition and location of exact items. The current tracking solutions aided by IoT generate an essential and usable data, particularly if it is paired with several other IoT technologies.
IoT Warehouse and Inventory Management
Several new innovative versions are already modifying the manner in which logistics companies operate. For instance, the active and passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that engender information on goods attached to them. The significant distinction between them is that whereas passive tags contain an antenna and a microchip of RFID specifically for data storage, active RFID tags contain their individual battery power and in some instances include extra sensors. The trackers connected to internet use Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) or long-range networks in letting corporate organizations track specific goods all through their delivery voyages. Similarly, the availability of satellite trackers aids in providing location data on goods virtually everywhere in the world, including sections, which lack cellular coverage. Since Bluetooth tags and beacons are great at providing tracking data in smaller and more restricted zones, corporations have largely embraced them in retail stores to screen consumer traffic as well as offering marketing messages to the same customers. Lastly, the tags of near-field communication (NFC), affiliated to RFID standards, permit employees a versatile use of their mobile devices as readers for the NFC tags, thereby, providing a merit RFID readers and tags.
IoT Fleet Management
Correspondingly, corporate entities together with government departments, which handle massive scales of automobiles, utilize connected fleet management solutions in making the process more effective. Just like warehouse and inventory management, the solutions use GPS and several other innovations of tracking to collect data on the operations and locations of their vehicles in real time. According to the Business Insider’s (BI) and Intelligence premium research service, connected fleet management solutions are estimated to reach 190 million commercial service vehicles in North America by 2020 (Costigan & Lindstrom, 2016). The statistics translate to 90% of the total automobile market, which represents a tenfold growth from 2010.
Three ways in which logistics companies are deploying IoT solutions include: movement and delivery of physical goods comprising fleets of mainly semi-trailer trucks transporting goods to accomplish business of clients’ orders. The fleets are flexible enough to handle short-term and long-term deliveries. According to Costigan & Lindstrom (2016), another way is consumer transportation whereby businesses together with governments use vehicles in transporting people from one terminus to another. The final way is field-service vehicles that encompass automobiles that are operated mainly by trades to transport workers as they perform their tasks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is most likely to cause incredible transformations in the logistics and delivery industry. The alterations will greatly alleviate strain for retailers, delivery corporations, and even among consumers. As scientists continue making significant technological innovations, other areas of logistics are likely to expand by benefiting from IoT. Unrelenting efforts by BI Intelligence reveal many future projections regarding the impact that IoT is going to unleash on the industry and other fields. Nevertheless, the issue of hackers is also posing a serious threat to the adoption and use of IoT by companies since they handle huge amounts of data for goods, clients as well as employees.