How cellular IoT is revolutionizing the supply chain

The rapid-paced global market requires businesses in the supply chain to be prompt yet adaptable in their production, delivery, and operations. The most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve this is via the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.  

A well-connected, transparent production and distribution system will also allow all stakeholders along the value chain to achieve higher standards of corporate social responsibility 

But how does IoT benefit the supply and logistics chain? We outline a few advantages below. 

24/7 visibility

Visibility has and will continue to be a major sticking point for the supply chain where knowing the exact location and status of a consignment is crucial.

This information allows planners, delivery services and other actors downstream to ensure consignment quality along the journey. Additionally, real-time data means they can also provide more accurate delivery times and quickly react to unexpected scenarios.  

For example, cellular IoT-enabled sensors and transmitters can automatically alert the purchasing department when supplies are running low. Sharing this data will also provide the ultimate end-to-end transparency with automation from parts manufacturing and inventory management, to last-mile delivery.  

Automated processes

With the help of sensors, real-time monitoring also enables all stakeholders to know what stock is on hand and its exact condition.

Environmental conditions can also vary widely during transportation. For instance, imaging a large medical delivery that’s shipped from India to Canada. During the months-long journey on board, having sensors within allows for remote monitoring to ensure the consignment is delivered in peak condition. 

This is especially crucial for time and environmentally sensitive products like pharmaceuticals and agricultural produce.  IoT connectivity and insights ensures the value chain runs smoother, increasing speed, shipping accuracy and overall customer satisfaction.  


Smoother operations

Incorporating these insights into advanced analytics can further streamline operations. For instance, planning more efficient routes forklifts that collect an order for shipping, or cut the necessary time the trucks spend sitting idle at the loading docks, reducing carbon emissions.  

Wear and tear of equipment is also a huge and variable expense for logistic companies. The ability to perform predictive maintenance based on the data from IoT sensors increases OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and TEEP (Total Equipment Effective Performance) by reducing downtime and sudden equipment failures. 

Should a disruption occur, those involved at any point along the value chain can easily adapt or work around the issue.   

Additional perks 

Reduces workplace injuriesAdvancements in wearable IoT technology also allows for continuous monitoring of health and fatigue-related concerns in workers.  

Capturing and preventing hazardous movements also keeps employees safe, improves training measures and worker retention. 

Increases fuel economy – Equipping delivery vehicles with sensors allows the close monitoring of fuel costs across multi-model transport options.  

Save on costs by rerouting deliveries to more efficient routes based on factors like diesel costs in different regions. Or even consider alternative modes of transport like rail instead of trucks.   


Parting thoughts 

Prior to the introduction of IoT, some of these improvements and cost saving measures were simply beyond our control. Global seamless connectivity and data availability has changed all that.  

As IoT adoption becomes more cost-efficient, a well connected and integrated workflow gives decision makers the tools and insights they need to make more informed decisions, adapt and pivot to the fast-changing environment.  

Connect with us here if you’d like to know more about our connectivity solutions for smart logistics. 

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