When it comes to the transportation industry, there are a number of IoT use cases in logistics that are poised to revolutionize it.
Here are three such examples:
smart inventory management;
All of these applications represent significant opportunities for companies looking to increase efficiencies and lower costs. But which one is right for you? Keep reading for more information about IoT in transportation and logistics the most practical use cases.
Why Do you Need to Follow Logistics Technology Trends?
Using new technologies to optimize the logistics process, transportation authorities will gain a competitive advantage for their business. According to the research, 47% of customers would pay more for a faster delivery time, and most third-party logistic providers aren’t able to manage such demands well (Carollo, 2018). The only option is to invest in an edge-computing system that enables them to increase their capacity. This is the most efficient solution for the logistics market and fleet managers.
Combining the physical and digital worlds can significantly simplify traffic management while increasing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Using machine learning software will be a boon for logistics managers. The software can efficiently allocate resources and help reduce final-mile costs, offering intelligent transportation solutions. This feature will save logistics professionals both time and money.
1. Smart Inventory Management
As the adoption of logistics IoT solutions in supply chains grows, this technology is also helping companies reduce operational costs. Digital interaction with artificial intelligence and real-time access to useful data can replace traditional analog methods such as paper and phones, allowing for more accurate data collection and improved efficiency. Besides improving operational efficiency, smart technology can also improve the flow of shipments and communication between drivers.
A recent survey shows that more than three-fourths of US manufacturers are already deploying IoT devices for data collection, analysis, and action (Santhosh, Srinivsan & Ragupathy, 2020). A major advantage of smart inventory management is its potential to provide real-time data on the status of goods. Many companies are finding it difficult to keep track of goods in transit due to the inefficiency of conventional barcode scanning methods. Additionally, transportation systems are usually not equipped with such solutions that can collect data to provide real-time updates on shipping status. IoT solutions for logistics, in turn, are highly flexible, scalable, and decentralized, making them ideal for companies with complex transportation pipelines, striving for increased IoT connectivity.
The implementation of smart logistics systems helps businesses manage inventory and make efficient use of space. For example, smart warehouse systems can keep inventory records and track items. Additionally, they can ensure the safety of machine-to-machine transactions. It’s also beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Logistics stakeholders can benefit from the Internet of Things technologies by enhancing their existing operations.
Automated Inventory Forecasting
Automated inventory forecasting is one way to plan shipments. This process eliminates the guesswork that many businesses face in predicting demand. In the past, companies have had to rely on their own intuition and production schedules. Now, automated inventory forecasting is possible thanks to a variety of factors that work together to predict demand. You can perform short-term and long-term inventory forecasts.
First, the Internet of Things devices can reduce inventory waste. This can include money spent on storage, lost opportunity from tied-up capital, and overstocking. However, with a forecasting system, waste can be avoided or minimized. With the right amount of inventory, companies can maximize sales and minimize stock-outs. And because inventory turnover is monitored, they can use the data to improve accuracy.
In automated inventory forecasting, a company takes its historical sales data and determines the amount of product it will need to meet current customer demand. For new products, the best time frame is six months, though two years is better. Seasonal trends can also help determine the average amount needed. The process also takes into account other factors, such as new marketing campaigns that are designed to increase sales. So, with one IoT solution, you can almost solve the problem of over or under-supply.
Big data and predictive analytics are two of the major components of smart inventory management in logistics. These techniques can give organizations a holistic view of logistics networks. The combined data from various supply chain sources is an ideal source for analyzing behavior patterns and upcoming changes in demand and supply. Companies can use this information to optimize warehouse and transportation functions.
Big data analytics are an excellent way to gain insights into inventory, product availability, and delivery dates. Using real-time inventory data for decision-making has many advantages. Real-time visibility allows companies to react faster to changes in demand, minimizing the bullwhip effect. Additionally, automated replenishment improves operational efficiency. Today’s supply chains are interconnected with smart products and enterprise software systems. That is why businesses must keep up with the ever-changing needs of customers and the marketplace.
Just-In-Time Inventory Management
The just-in-time (JIT) inventory management strategy allows businesses to respond quickly to customer demand. With just-in-time inventory management, businesses can avoid stocking outdated products and unsold items, as well as reduce backorders and missed sales. Businesses that employ this method are typically found in sectors that experience shorter spikes in demand. For example, businesses in the book publishing and food service industries often benefit from this strategy, as just-in-time inventory management eliminates the need for overstocking.
The benefits of implementing a JIT inventory management strategy are many. This system allows for a more flexible workforce and synchronizes production with demand. It also eliminates the need to monitor the merchandise as it is being produced, which significantly reduces labor costs. JIT inventory management helps companies to achieve higher ROIs by reducing inventory carrying costs and increasing efficiency. This strategy eliminates overordering and dead stock, which are two common problems for businesses with a limited budget. JIT inventory management also reduces the risk of lost sales and defective products due to excess inventory. Lastly, a business with JIT inventory management has better control over the supply chain, reducing the amount of time it takes to fulfill a customer’s order.
2. Traffic Management
Another major application of IoT in transportation is traffic management. CCTV cameras generate millions of gigabytes of traffic data, which traffic management centers use to monitor and punish vehicles that violate traffic rules. Other IoT uses cases in transportation include smart parking, automatic traffic light systems, and smart accident assistance. If these applications are used properly, they could help reduce accidents and make smart cities safer.
The smart automotive IoT industry is a massive field for the implementation of edge devices, innovative solutions, IoT sensors, and other devices. For example, connected cars can download Over-The-Air (OTA) updates from the manufacturer and different software for the in-car experience. The possibilities for IoT in the automotive industry are truly endless.
We’ve all heard about driverless cars. However, this technology has yet to be widely adopted by the public. It’s highly disputed whether driverless cars can be operated safely as a central part of supply chain management. Therefore, many companies still have doubts about considering including driverless cars in the public transportation system, private transport system, and supply chain. Ultimately, these autonomous vehicles will operate as ridesharing fleets in specific geographic areas, a part of smart transportation systems, and maybe even a part of public transport. However, for now, it is much more possible that self-driving cars will be a part of fleet management solutions of private enterprises, which already understand their business value and role in optimizing supply chain processes.
Besides providing safer roads for us all, connected vehicles can also bring a new level of comfort and convenience to our lives. IoT devices installed in vehicles can communicate with each other and with the weather forecast department, so a car or public transport vehicle will send updates to the users on possible weather changes. Moreover, these cars can be connected with smartphones to allow drivers to control car features using voice commands. But perhaps the most amazing feature of IoT automotive is predictive maintenance. Here, sensors installed in cars sensor data, and then a computer algorithm analyzes it to predict how it will react in a particular given situation. So, as a result of timely notifications, logistics companies will be able to schedule vehicle maintenance in such a way that they’ll be checked before a major problem occurs and cause delays in a supply chain or traffic patterns.
Smart parking is another big use case in the logistics industry. Whether it’s parking on street or in a confined parking area, smart parking solutions can help out there. Wireless sensors detect the presence of vehicles and turn collected data into real-time occupancy reports. Image detection software as well turns pictures from installed cameras into useful data.
One type of sensor in existing systems uses electromagnetic induction to detect a vehicle. This type of sensor is typically placed beneath a parking lot. These sensors work well in parking lots since they are relatively immune to environmental changes and can transmit real-time data. However, they are expensive and not all the city governments or companies can afford them. That is why arises a need for IoT devices as one of the logistics technology trends since they are relatively cheap and work for a long time with a low-power supply.
Automatic Traffic Light Systems
A method of mapping traffic lights may include a multi-frame analysis for the set of candidate objects. Integrated sensor-based traffic light systems are a promising technology to control intersections. Using a wireless sensor network, these systems can determine traffic density in each lane and adjust light timings accordingly. Moreover, they can prevent accidents by minimizing queues in road sections. In addition, they use innovative calculations to minimize the time that a red traffic light is displayed, thereby ensuring smoother road traffic flow.
In rural areas, these systems can maximize traffic efficiency by allowing the main direction to remain green, which allows the majority of vehicles to pass quickly. However, sensor-based traffic systems can detect vehicles using side roads and cycle the lights to let this traffic pass. Once side road traffic passes through the green lights, the main road traffic continues to flow unhindered. Once this side road traffic returns, the traffic light cycle can be interrupted once again. Such use of IoT technologies will positively influence not only the logistics industry but also city life.
3. Delivery Tracking
Transportation companies are undergoing a technological transformation, so they more often turn to the Internet of Things technology. Smart infrastructures and connected devices are blending together to transform the logistics industry. The first step will be the integration of autonomous vehicles into logistics infrastructures. Using IoT logistics tracking sensors, these infrastructures will be able to detect and avoid car accidents, minimize operational costs and guarantee on-time delivery of cargo.
IoT-driven real-time monitoring of the value chain is the most widespread application of the Internet of Things in transportation and logistics. It enables the monitoring and tracking of goods set for delivery at remote locations. Embedded sensors on vehicles, being a progressive new technology, will avoid transporting under or overloading goods. For example, a leading logistics provider, DHL, is actively embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) tracking systems in logistics and is implementing smart logistics IoT platform to manage its operations. Smart sensors placed on goods can provide valuable information about their location and condition, providing clear-cut transparency and efficient transportation and logistics management.
Prepackaged Food Tracking Platform
Real-time food tracking has become crucial in ensuring the safety and quality of prepackaged foods. A prepackaged food tracking platform using IoT technology with wireless radio frequency identification is a practical and economical solution to real-time food tracking. The proposed platform combines IoT and QR code technologies to monitor prepackaged foods.
The ability to trace goods from their origin to destination is another hot issue in fleet management. Customers are looking for information on the status of their orders. As we already noted, a recent IoT logistics case study has shown that constant updates on packages are a necessity for people, while tracking the delivery (Carollo, 2018). As a result, delivery companies have started integrating IoT devices to track all these processes and update customers. Moreover, IoT technology can manage and optimize complex transportation and logistics centers.
GPS-Enabled Parcel Tracker
A GPS-enabled parcel tracker using Internet of Things technology can provide real-time updates on the location of a shipment anywhere in the world. Usually, it is compatible with a wide range of cellular networks and because it is small and lightweight is ideal for postal services.
Another potential benefit of a GPS-enabled parcel tracker using IoT technology is the ability to track each item separately instead of vehicles transferring them. GPS IoT devices can be attached to intermodal shipping containers, individual pallets, and other parts of a shipment. This allows for real-time location updates when the shipments are shifted from the vehicle and stored. The tracking device works in conjunction with location software to ensure that customers receive the most accurate updates possible.
What are the Obvious Benefits of IoT in Logistics?
One of the most significant benefits of smart logistics is its ability to improve the efficiency of supply chain management. Using data and machine-to-machine communication, it is possible to automatically determine what products need to be transported where. For example, an Internet of Things platform can tell the driver whether or not a truck’s freezer is working properly, which is crucial information in a cold chain. This information can then be used to make the right decision, such as whether to stop or continue the journey.
Optimization of Logistics Network
The advantages of smart logistics are vast and can help you make informed decisions about your operations. It can help you optimize your transport and warehousing. Moreover, it can improve the communication between different components of your logistics network such as smart devices, cloud computing servers, and end-to-end security protocols. Internet of Things technology can optimize fleet management by collecting data from different sources and giving advanced analytics of data processes.
The ability to track a shipment is a powerful feature that allows shipping companies to reduce their costs. This type of technology uses GPS tracking chips attached to shipments to automatically interact with the system. With the advancement of Internet of Things technology, smart logistics is now available to shipping companies and customers, which lower costs due to the possibility of predictive maintenance and avoidance of infrastructure faults. As a result, these companies are now able to provide customers with a more accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA), thus making delivery easier for them.
The use of smart logistics technology can significantly improve productivity. With the use of the Internet of Things, data can be captured from all points across the supply chain. For example, an automated system can detect suspicious movements, which can improve security and detect theft. With the Internet of Things, there will be no delays in delivery since all processes will not undergo any interruptions.
The application of Internet of Things technology can improve the speed of delivery by allowing for more efficient scheduling. With the use of IoT solutions, a business can also reduce labor costs and increase its profit margin. The implementation of smart logistics solutions is a great way for logistics companies to improve their processes and increase their productivity. The benefits of smart logistics solutions include improved vehicle management, dock management, and end-to-end order tracking. The implementation of smart logistics solutions can lead to better inventory management and increased customer satisfaction.
Increased Customers Satisfaction
In addition to its increased productivity, smart logistics can help SMEs improve their customer service by increasing their customer satisfaction scores and reducing the number of returned sales. In addition to enabling mobile intelligence technology, smart logistics can also improve supply chain visibility. This allows for faster delivery and less costly inventory management. This in turn helps SMEs increase their profitability.
Why is IoT the Best Choice for Supply Chain Monitoring?
One of the most prominent benefits of IoT devices in logistics is improved visibility into inventory levels. Better visibility of the data stored means fewer mistakes, such as misreading the inventory level or storing an incorrect quantity. This in turn means that products can be delivered on time. Furthermore, detailed inventory lot records help to prevent unpleasant situations such as expired products. In this context, IoT in inventory management software is essential. It helps producers track inventory lots and keep accurate records for future reference.
IoT devices improve logistics by enabling real-time tracking and analytics. Businesses can use this technology to detect and report load discrepancies and inform consumers and logistic partners immediately. IoT devices help improve last-mile delivery, which makes up over 30% of all delivery costs. The technology also allows businesses to optimize warehouse layout and optimize system flow.
In addition to improving customer service and operational costs, IoT solutions for logistics help improve vehicle tracking, track delivery statuses, and monitor driver behavior. Since data is collected in real-time, managers can make informed decisions. With smart devices, logistics teams can automate processes and track assets at the unit and package level. This information can even help expedite asset recovery.
What Can TEKTELIC Offer for Transportation Industry?
A comprehensive understanding of the fundamental systems in a transportation firm is essential to maximizing its productivity. New technologies are helping companies develop specialized architectures and revitalize their transportation businesses. TEKTELIC aims to make the transportation industry more modern by offering a wide range of solutions that include a range of gateways and sensors.
First of all, TEKTELIC has KONA Mobile Gateway for mobile deployments. This is a low-cost IoT gateway that enables operators to improve coverage and capacity while minimizing the cost of network management. Designed for outdoor installation, it is extremely compact and low-power-consuming. It can address the unique needs of different vertical IoT applications. With a full suite of features, the KONA Mobile Gateway will meet all your IoT gateway needs. It enables massive scalability by supporting up to 12 million messages per day. Besides, it has geolocalization support, which is essential for the transportation industry.
The other device TEKTELIC offers is ORCA. This device can geolocalize any type of asset in the field, transmitting data via the LoRaWAN network. One more important point here is its rugged IP67 design as it allows operation in temperature conditions from -40°C to +85°C. So, ORCA can be easily used in cold chain delivery, vaccine transportation, and food delivery. The battery life of the device is around 8-10 years, so it is a worthy investment.
TEKTELIC provides wireless communication and IoT solutions for a wide range of vertical applications. With a global presence and a proven track record of design excellence, TEKTELIC engineers custom products and services that maximize functionality and reliability. From telecommunications to energy and transportation, TEKTELIC designs and builds solutions that are flexible, scalable, and reliable.
Digital transformation brings new opportunities. By analyzing operational data, smart logistics reduces operational inefficiencies and helps operations become more sustainable. For example, it can measure and track the behavior of individual employees and processes. This information is then used to predict potential risks and improve the efficiency of transportation. Ultimately, smart logistics can boost profits for your business. If you have a business in the supply chain, smart logistics is the way to go. In addition to enabling real-time information, this technology can also help companies develop new business models and services. While some companies will use these technologies to streamline processes, others will do so as a way to create new revenue streams.
Besides smart inventory management, connected vehicle tracking, and connected vehicles there are many other popular IoT use cases in transportation. These applications can be categorized according to the industries that they serve and what purpose they serve. Smart inventory management can be used to reduce costs by monitoring vehicle mileage, fuel consumption, and more. Smart vehicles can also help improve logistics by improving the flow of cargo. Other use cases will ensure customers are satisfied with the in-time delivery and quality of the products.
The Internet of Things is a new wave in technology that is helping the transportation industry get a better grip on how to run its business. By analyzing historical data from the transportation industry, transportation managers will be able to determine the condition of assets and predict potential problems. With its ability to provide real-time data and predictive analytics, IoT-based solutions are simplifying industrial management and gaining actionable insights.
TEKTELIC provides customizable asset monitoring and helps companies streamline their supply chains. TEKTELIC will work together with you to develop solutions that add value beyond simple connectivity. That is why if you want to optimize processes in transportation and logistics, you should reach out to our support team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santhosh, N., Srinivsan, M., & Ragupathy, K. (2020). Internet of Things (IoT) in smart manufacturing. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science And Engineering, 764(1). doi: 10.1088/1757-899x/764/1/012025
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