With the internet becoming cheaper, more efficient, and easily accessible to all, there has been a boom in a new sector called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Primarily, IoT refers to all objects and products, especially everyday objects like lights and fans, that are connected to the internet. The device on which you are reading this article is itself an example of IoT.
The mobile phone was once an electronic device that had no internet connection. Later, the mobile phone evolved into a smartphone because revolutionized people’s lives by connecting to the internet.
Now, from regular home appliances like rice cookers and air conditioners to complicated industrial machinery, IoT is making its way everywhere!
As time progressed, more devices emerged that can reap the benefits of the internet and revolutionize all the industries of the 21st century.
Logistics Before The Internet Of Things (IoT)
Earlier logistics management was not as complex as it is today. Simply put, it was just the movement of goods from one point to another in exchange for a pre-agreed amount.
As trade and commerce expanded, new laws came into effect, and the logistics industry was required to continually adapt to these changing policies. But in this process, it became more complex.
Suddenly, there was a tremendous amount of paperwork for recording, taxation, and more. Further, the threat of expensive goods being stolen was on the rise. So, the industry needed a solution to improve security and streamline all the processes without compromising its profit margins.
The IoT industry jumped in to solve this problem. Companies are making logistics operations and management safer, more efficient, and sustainable than ever before.
How Industrial IoT (IIoT) Is Transforming The Logistics Industry
Here are six ways IoT is revolutionizing the logistics industry:
Streamlined The Managerial Processes
One of the most significant problems of medium and large-sized fleets that were solved by industrial IoT is streamlining all fleet managerial processes and optimizing fleet performance.
With useful fleet management software, logistics companies can improve their safety, reduce operational costs, and much more.
Fleet managers are now able to keep tabs on their vehicles’ drivers to ensure their safety and increase driver retention in the company be catering to their needs better than ever.
With just a few clicks on a phone, tablet, or desktop computer, fleet managers can quickly communicate with drivers that are even hundreds of miles away without any errors. This enables them to pass on important messages, alerts, or inform their drivers about any change of plans like route diversion or cancellation of delivery.
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Easy And Customized Reporting
Mountains of paperwork are now a thing of the past. What used to take hours before has now been condensed to mere minutes with the help of industrial IoT.
IoT and SaaS tools can now work in unison to help you create industrial Supervisory Control, and Data Acquisition (SCADA) reports in a matter of minutes.
Users can easily customize the reports to show and emphasize the information that matters to them the most. They can then print these reports or even store them on any of their devices in various formats for easy shareability and quick accessibility.
This way, nobody ever falls behind schedule and can submit their reports to government agencies on time.
Fleet tracking reports also provide analytical information about fleet performance, which the fleet managers and operators can utilize to maximize the company’s profits.
Reduced Maintenance And Repair Costs
Using IoT devices like electronic logging devices (ELDs), logistics companies can reduce their vehicle repair costs significantly.
These devices provide real-time diagnostic information of the vehicle and even securely store them in a database. By integrating with cloud computing technology, these IIoT devices can provide information to necessary personnel about preventive maintenance and fuel consumption anywhere in the world.
This helps in optimized preventive maintenance methods, reduced fuel consumption, and less frequent vehicle repairs.
Tracking And Security
Internet of Things was also able to strengthen the security of logistics through reliable equipment tracking tools.
Powerful asset trackers that connect to the internet can now track all of your equipment in real-time. By being able to locate remote assets and recover stolen equipment, these tools have been saving companies thousands of dollars every year.
Fleet managers can even set up geofences to prevent their assets from being wrongly delivered or stolen. This mitigates theft by providing immediate alerts to the managers.
The best features of a high-quality asset tracker include:
- Camouflaged surfaces
- Real-time tracking
- Tracking engine hours and mileage
- Providing maintenance alerts
- Solar-powered battery
- Geofence alerts
- Customizable ping rates
- Automated reporting
- Identifying dormant assets
In addition to real-time visibility of the assets’ whereabouts, their location information can also be shared across devices and users. This is an excellent way for companies to build confidence in their clients and improve customer satisfaction.
Providing Driver Assistance
IoT devices like AI dashboard cameras help to improve driver safety by automatically identifying unsafe driving patterns and alerting the drivers as well as the fleet managers.
All the data is transferred securely to cloud storage, which can be accessed as and when required. This helps to maintain accurate records of every trip.
With embedded AI, the dash cams can provide voice assistance and coaching to the drivers while they are en route. The entire information can also be condensed to view driving trends over time and analyze the drivers’ behaviors.
Through all the data gathered by IoT devices, it becomes much easier to gain valuable insights into the consumers’ needs and wants.
Analyses of what is working for the consumers and what is not will help the company improve its operational and managerial processes. This customer-centric approach that allows a company to maximize its revenue can be primarily credited to premium quality IIoT devices.
The applications of IoT have completely transformed the transportation and the logistics sector for good and continue to do so. From entertainment systems in cars to optimized operational costs in large fleets, industrial IoT applications can be found almost everywhere.
Companies that realize the potential of IoT applications and adopt their services get an immediate upper hand in this competitive world.