Smart Logistics – How IoT is Transforming the Supply Chain

Supply chain and logistic systems are growing in size and sophistication. Smart logistics with a well connected ecosystem will drive operational efficiency. But also allow all stakeholders involved to achieve higher standards of sustainability and corporate responsibility. 

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Shipping and its distribution channels are just a couple of links in the vast supply chain

However the most immediate impact on logistics and supply chain that IoT will provide, is greater data visibility and integration.  

Visibility has and will continue to be a major sticking point for logistics. Knowing the exact status of a consignment is crucial. Planners, delivery services and other actors downstream can ensure quality along the journey and provide accurate delivery times. This, coupled with the integration of IoT devices with business systems will provide the ultimate end-to-end transparency. From parts through to manufacturing, inventory management and last-mile delivery. 

What do smart logistic applications look like and how can it benefit your enterprise? Here are a few scenarios. 

Connected warehouse 
Real-time insights enable the optimization of operations

Automated processes – With the help of sensors, real-time insights and monitoring enables warehouse managers to know what stock is on hand, progress of any product, and precisely where it is located in the warehouse. IoT connectivity and insights ensures the value chain runs smoother, increasing speed, shipping accuracy and overall customer satisfaction. 

24/7 visibility – Connected sensors offer retailers an opportunity to obtain unparalleled visibility into inventory and supply chains to improve customer experiences. Cellular IoT-enabled sensors and transmitters can automatically alert the purchasing department when supplies are running low. This same information can also be sent to a supplier to automate resupplies.  

Operational efficiency – Incorporating these insights into advanced analytics, managers can further streamline operations. For example, more efficient routes forklifts collecting an order for shipping, or cut the necessary time the trucks spend sitting idle at the loading docks, reducing carbon emissions. This means that if there a disruption does occur, those involved from any point along the supply chain can easily adapt or work around the issue.  

Reduce workplace injuries – Advancements in wearable IoT technology allows for continuous monitor and fatigue-related concerns in workers. Capturing and preventing hazardous movements also keeps employees safe, improves training measures and worker retention.  

Connected delivery 

Connected sensors on last-mile delivery trucks report on everything from conditions inside the container to fuel consumption.  

Full visibility of your consignment from beginning to end

Container monitoring – Conditions can vary widely during transportation. Having sensors within allows for remote monitoring to ensure the consignment is delivered in peak condition. This is crucial for time and environmentally sensitive products like pharmaceuticals and produce.  

Predictive maintenance – Wear and tear on trucks is a huge and variable expense for logistic companies. The ability to perform predictive maintenance based on the data from IoT sensors reduces downtime and sudden equipment failures. With rich insights, it is possible to accurately pinpoint the best time to sideline a truck, while minimizing impact on the rest of the fleet.  

Fuel economy – Close monitoring of fuel costs enable real-time decision on 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.  

Whereas before, some of these improvements and cost saving measures were beyond control, increased data availability has changed all that. The bottom line is 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. Alternatively, read more about our partnership with SmartAxiom that leverages an established tamper-proof root of trust with ZARIOT’s global coverage for unrivalled security, attestation, and connectivity.

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