IoT in Transportation: From Fleet Monitoring to Inventory Management
Want to learn more about the incorporation of IoT in transportation? Check out this post on IoT in fleet monitoring and inventory management.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Whether it is warehouse operations or fleet monitoring, the Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) are witnessing various drawbacks and are in need to get these problems figured out. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), many of the logistics providers have seen a drastic transformation in their business operations. IoT has left its footprint on the entire supply chain — from raw materials to inbound/outbound transportation, warehousing, distribution, and production.
The following information is a brief look at the implementation of IoT technologies in warehouse operations and freight transportation. So, let’s have a look at the ways industry can be benefited with the implementation of IoT.
As many businesses have witnessed with the implementation of IoT in warehouse operation, the profits have been multiplied. One of the recent surveys from Zebra technologies states that 7 out of 10 supply chain decision makers plan to increase their use of technology to create smart logistics by 2020.
Now, what makes a warehouse smarter and how IoT can step in and make a change? Below, we will explore some of the possible IoT advantages for warehouse operations:
Smart Inventory Management
IoT in smart logistics management has enabled the pallet and item-level tagging by using the low-cost identification devices. RFID tags can be attached to inventories to know the real-time inventory available inside the warehouse.
IoT in transportation and logistics has made inventory management more transparent. The transparency helps in tracking real-time accurate information about inventory and prevents out of stock situations and manages the quality by ensuring that items are not misplaced.
Inbound/Outbound Inventory Management
It’s difficult to know when trucks are going to arrive to pick up and deliver goods. The warehouses need to know this to be prepared with the inventory for the delivery or pick up.
IoT trucks or cars coming towards the warehouse can be located the moment they enter into the geo-fencing area. The truck and drivers are registered prior to the IoT application using an appropriate ID and then a barcode is generated on the driver’s app. The barcode is then scanned by the machine at the entrance gate and, hence, the registration gets authenticated. The truck heads towards the assigned direction and loads/unloads the goods. The assistant available there checks the loading/unloading status, takes pictures for records, and activates the barcode for the exit gate.
An optimized scheduled maintenance can be attained by the sensors and then the devices calculate the expected lifetime of machines well before their threshold comes.
The American Trucking Association stresses that the trucking business is a major part of U.S. economy, as 70 percent of all freight transportation is done via trucks. IoT in Transportation and Logistics has brought us closer to a future where autonomous trucks will become a reality.
A self-centered geofence creates a virtual boundary around the warehouse. Once the geofence is established, the warehouse operators can define a time frame for geofence monitoring and determine the types of alerts to be used.
Optimal Asset Utilization
IoT can also help track the physical assets and related information, like status, location, etc. The smart fleet monitoring solutions let you can track the real-time location of the truck and the weight it carries on a trailer. Along with this, the real-time longitude and latitude of a truck/trailer can also be tracked.
Safety and Security of Cargo
Technology has always made a difference and so does IoT in transportation and logistics. Increased safety and security of the freight can be assured by tracking them from point to point and monitoring and controlling humidity, temperature, etc., which decreases the chances of goods' spoilage.
Real-Time Business Decisions
To better understand supply chain, the real-time field data can play a major role. The upper-level managers or decision makers can analyze the live field data and make decisions at the same time. The ability to track freight and receive updates on its condition and maintenance of the truck — all these factors have made fleet management easier for executives. Vehicle idle time between routes, analysis of traffic conditions, and fuel consumption have been the major concerns. However, these digital technologies, with time, have improved the performance, safety, and communication with customers, which, in turn, helps executives make quick decisions.
The IoT technology came as a disruption in the transportation and logistics management and has an untapped potential for the industry. The technological advancement and on-going innovations are paving a future for multiple industry verticals and the transportation and logistics industry is not an exception.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.