Logistics complexity has been increasing with greater demand from customers in the form of customized solutions. The complexity of logistics operations creates a number of major challenges, most especially the need for visibility while goods are in transit. The Internet of Things (IoT) is playing a big role in this respect.
The use of IoT, with cloud-based GPS, helps track and trace shipments. Specifically, RFID technology aids systems and devices communicate with each other to trace shipments in transit in real time, helping achieve great productivity and efficiency. Using chips attached to cargo provide information like identity, location and other aspects such as weather, temperature, pressure etc that can be transmitted during transit. Data collected and stored from GPS and RFID-based technologies can be used to automate shipping and delivery process by forecasting exact time of arrival and also help prevent delay or damages.
With IoT, stakeholders get access to a higher order of intelligence provided by real-time data. This allows stakeholders to make efficient decisions to improve the overall process. For example, information about traffic congestion and the potential delay before the start of the trip is of greater value than receiving an alert about delay due to traffic.
IoT logistics data can be used to link warehouse and transportation management to track individual items. Another role played by IoT is in vehicle preventive maintenance; if an equipment can self-diagnose a potential problem, the problem can be easily resolved beforehand.
Meeting customer requirements has become the number one logistics objective. With customers becoming ever more demanding and vocal in conveying their opinions, traditional methods are often seen to fail when pursuing strategies to satisfy them. In essence, technology’s primarily role is to enable a company to satisfy its customers’ needs.
Logistics companies typically operated as independent players and managing interfaces to customers directly may lose relevance in today’s networked economy. Companies today have to collaborate with partners in their extended supply chain network; the partners also expect them to integrate their processes and systems.
IoT is completely changing the face of customer servicing. It brings greater visibility of the logistics processes especially in transit paving the way for higher level of client servicing, giving companies a huge advantage.
IoT is a powerful tool not just because of the intelligence gathered but the ability to literally initiate a physical event in response to a data trigger. With IoT it is finally possible for machines to act on information in the physical world on real-time basis without the intervention of humans.
IoT is definitely headed toward solving bigger problems in the logistics and transportation industry, from streamlining operations to helping manage risks far better than before.