IoT: The Advantages of Connected Logistics

Oct 20, 2016

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Logistics companies face new challenges, as customers’ service requirements are becoming more and more demanding. IoT conquers many industries, logistics isn’t an exception.

The connected logistics market is expected to grow from USD 5.05 billion in 2015 to USD 20.46 billion by 2020. IoT technologies can be successfully applied to the entire logistics value chain incl. warehousing, transportation and last mile delivery operations.

Smart connection provides logistics companies as well as their business and end customers with significant advantages.

IoT meets Logistics

IoT in logistics essentially consists of the following steps:

  • Information collection

Monitoring of various components within the value chain using different technologies and tools.

  • Information analysis

Processing a huge amount of collected data to gain knowledge and develop solutions.

IoT helps to optimize operational and business processes through

  • A real-time monitoring of machines, vehicles, goods along the whole value chain
  • Automation of business processes to avoid manual interventions, improve service quality and reduce costs
  • Optimization of interaction processes between people, systems, assets as well as coordination of their activities
  • Assets performance measurement and adjustment
  • Continuous data analysis to determine improvement options and best practice approaches

IoT makes all logistics processes run smoothly

As soon as a customer buys a product, purchase order processing starts very fast.  Automated high-bay storage and small parts store, conveyor line and driverless transportation systems are connected to the IoT network and bring goods to a relevant station in the warehouse. The goods are picked out and packed for the transporting.

Concurrently, a transport company receives an automatic request to position a truck at a specific loading ramp.

The logistics company’s management team always has an access to transparent real-time information on ‘open’ and ‘closed’ purchase orders.

At each stage of the operation, it is clear when exactly the item is available, when it can be picked up and when it is necessary to restock the warehouse.

When a product leaves the warehouse, the IT systems record this and make the information available for company’s employees. The real-time data on the delivery status enable to recognise faults and intervene immediately.

Efficiency improvement

Process automation allows processing a variety of order pickings simultaneously. Smart warehouse management software tracks goods movements and informs warehouse employees about every process step in order to keep picking routes as short as possible.

Virtual reality

DHL warehouse pickers use VR glasses to identify objects in real-time, scan barcodes, navigate in areas, etc. All the relevant data to fulfil the order are projected to the visual field of the employees, so they can keep hands free. It enables time reduction for picking the right item and avoiding mistakes. Smart tracking system provides navigation in the warehouse: virtual arrows show the way to the shelf.

Goods tracking

Real-time information on products and goods can be easily viewed anytime on smartphone or tablet. Goods movements, traffic and location data of trucks flow into the system.

All the data are available throughout the entire logistics chain: from logistics companies to the customers.

Safety and security monitoring

The implementation of IoT systems enables to control driving style of truck drivers.  It helps to measure fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions.  Monitoring of drivers’ vital signs allows detecting fatigue in order to prevent accidents and improve safety.

Smart sensors installed into the truck can constantly monitor such parameters as, for example, a required temperature of goods and transmit the data to the transport management system. Furthermore, this way unplanned container opening can be immediately identified.

Learn more about Qulix IoT solution development.