How to Use IoT in the Logistics Industry
Role IoT in Logistics
We have witnessed a significant shift in the supply chain management processes over the past decade. The entire logistics system has changed, not least because of the introduction of e-commerce platforms. There are more shipments being processed daily and customers have higher expectations.
To meet all these requirements and to fight the competition, IoT has been adopted in the logistics industry. There was a time in history when there was no staff, no markets, and very low-profit margins. This sector was greatly affected. However, everything changed slowly after IoT was adopted.
The labor cost was reduced, making it easier to meet the needs of even the most fragmented markets. Profits also increased. The supply chain has seen improvements thanks to IoT, blockchain, cloud systems, and many other factors.
As the overall system became more efficient, real-time communication and tracking were introduced. To make the system more productive and effective, there are many innovations.
IoT is more than just a tool for logistics. It also helps with communication, GPS tracking, and other functions.
Benefits and Challenges of IoT in Logistics
Benefits of IoT in Logistics
IoT offers many benefits, especially in logistics. It has helped improve the current conditions. IoT devices are powered by sensors, clouds, and network systems. The following are some of the main benefits of IoT in logistics:
- It assists in monitoring drivers’ behavior and maintaining the transport system.
- It allows you to track your inventory and can even be used for real-time identification of objects.
- This helps keep your product safe and secures your storage areas.
- It is useful for data transmission and networking.
- Customers can track their goods online and calculate the delivery time. The logistics department can also estimate the delivery time.
- This streamlines the entire process.
- The entire process can be controlled using tools, and any anomaly in the affected areas is immediately communicated.
IoT is changing the supply chain management system and patterns. IoT-enabled devices can improve communication between departments. There are currently no media breaks. Customers are satisfied, profits are made, and resources are properly allocated. Is there anything else you need?
Also read: 9 Best Tools Help in Supply Chain Management
IoT Logistics Challenges
It is difficult to decide whether IoT is necessary for an organization. Every new technology that is adopted by a business requires a large amount of investment. It is crucial to decide if it is necessary and how you will use it.
Changes are difficult to make after implementation. All departments are affected. The new skills that employees have to learn can cause demotivation in all departments. There are some challenges IoT in Logistics must overcome, such as:
- The IT Department will continue to struggle with the logistic team or the operational staff.
- It is difficult to learn IoT. It is difficult to learn and takes a lot of training. The personnel must go through skill development and training courses.
- All data will be collected and analyzed once the implementation is complete. It is difficult to analyze a large volume of data.
- It is not easy to maintain a balance between past activities and the current system.
Application of IoT in Logistics
Companies can use IoT in Logistics to reduce unnecessary costs and optimize their entire process. IoT encompasses so many steps, from supply to warehousing and transportation, that it is crucial to streamline them all.
1. Location Tracking
The location tracking app plays an important role in logistics. There are three basic types of locations.
Manufacturer to Supplier
This allows each vendor to track the material they have delivered to the manufacturer/producing company. The manufacturing unit can change the vendor if delivery is delayed for any reason.
To the production facility
This allows for the tracking of drivers and cargo deliveries. Which place does the driver load his cargo? Is it in the right place? Are there any suspicious activities? RTLS can easily track down all this information. This application of IoT allows you to check when and where the goods were picked up.
In the manufacturing facility
It is time to check if the materials have been properly unloaded once they reach the manufacturing plant. Sometimes materials can be mixed with older ones. If the new materials are properly tagged, it is easy to track them down and identify any kind of mixing.
2. Inventory Tracking
Smart warehouses are a popular trend. IoT-enabled Smart Warehouses can be used to manage inventory issues. These warehouses can send signals to alert you and help you take corrective measures if there is an issue with stocking.
They check the quality of goods stored in them and adjust the temperature to correct any issues. Smart warehouses allow for easy tracking of all goods from any location, so theft is not possible.
3. Demand Outlook
We can calculate demand forecasting by using IoT in Logistics. Tools help us predict the demands of the products in the future and how we can keep up with them by improving the efficiency of our logistics system.
Forecasting the demand is done based on customer preferences, tastes, and preferences. It is therefore one of the most important applications of IoT Logistics.
4. Fleet Administration
Fleet management is one of the most useful and important applications of IoT for Logistics. A fleet is a collection of transport vehicles used to deliver or transfer cargo from one location to the next.
The systems can be simplified and improved with IoT fleet management. You can collect all relevant information about the fleet, including driver information. This helps maintain safety.
IoT can also be used to monitor the vehicle’s fuel consumption and power consumption. It can be reduced to save money and the environment. It is also beneficial for drivers as it allows them to participate in training programs that are based on their information.
5. Data Analysis
Every point that an IoT-enabled sensor collects data is huge. This data can be analyzed. IoT tools are essential. Predictive maintenance is the responsibility of managers. Data for this purpose is required by them.
Data analysis is an excellent way to collect data, make informed decisions, and address any issues that may arise in warehousing or transportation.
6. Environment Sensors
It is important to keep the temperature at the correct temperature when warehousing perishable goods such as medicines and medicine. The temperature is important for maintaining the product’s quality.
Humidity, sunlight, and temperature can sometimes alter the product’s composition and nature. This can lead to severe losses for the industry. IoT-enabled environment sensors can be useful in maintaining the correct temperature, and also alert you when it falls below a specific level.
These sensors provide data that allows the production department to identify any damaged goods.
Also read: Inbound and Outbound Logistics: What is The Difference?
Industries Using IoT in Logistics
IoT in Logistics has been used by many companies. It was designed to make transportation and warehousing more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable. Below are examples of IoT-based IoT applications in logistics where you will find technological and IoT-based applications:
DHL uses IoT-based tools and watches to ensure a safe environment for its employees. DHL’s regional center in Singapore has created a central monitoring system that can monitor the employees’ rest, breaks, work hours, and fatigue. The system allows employees to communicate with each other about possible mishaps and accidents.
Nippon and Intel have teamed up to create a program that tracks the entire supply chain management system. To ensure that there were no counterfeit or duplicate medicines in the supply chain, the main purpose of the program was to track it all. IoT-enabled tracking systems are worthwhile for safety reasons.
Integration of the entire logistics and supply chain infrastructure has been achieved. Each checkpoint can be connected to IoT-enabled sensors.
All computers and vehicles gather data, which is shared with all departments and customers in order to keep the system transparent. All information about delivery locations, routes, and shipping conditions is shared with the appropriate parties.
Maersk was the first company to recognize the importance of transparency and technology in the logistics industry. It was so complicated and broke that it became necessary to fix it. Many applications and systems that can track the shipment and other items can be created when IoT is used for logistics.
The IoT offers the logistics industry and logistics managers the ability to control and improve efficiency and control in a way that was never possible before. The key benefit of IoT in logistics. It allows for real-time communication, transparency, decision making, and tracking of waste movements.