Impact of IoT on the Trucking Industry and Supply Chain
Published On Jul 07, 2016
Internet of Things (IoT) can easily be regarded as the latest technology which has power to change the world. No matter what business you’re in, IoT leads the way for you with better insights, transparency, and data to strategize in future.
Talking specifically about its industrial usage, logistics for instance, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has not only helped fleet owners to keep a track of their cargo but also to improve overall resource management too.
With their trucks connected to smart devices, real time data about fuel consumption, halt times, breakdown information, preferred routes and more is made available to churn out and make the overall process better. A few systems available in India are Eicher Live (demoed at Auto Expo 2016) and Volvo Dynafleet (used in Volvo Fuelsmart Challenge). Mahindra, being a step ahead then its peers, has launched a whole range of smart trucks under the name Blazo.
These systems are actually effective in real-time and hence are becoming hugely popular in supply chain industry as well, where cargo theft and tracking of goods is integral.
Earlier, the process to contact truck drivers or to keep a track of parcels was an arduous task but IoT has made it hassle free. Taking an instance, a cargo ship is carrying thousands of containers to another part of the world. Now imagine a strong sea wave taking a few hundred of those steel boxes down with it while ship remains enroute to destination. Well, you’re about to hear a lot of unwanted things from the client while bearing the loss as well.
What IoT has done is, it has allowed parcel movers to equip their containers with sensors as thin as papers so that they can trace the path of cargo until it reaches the customers. They can also just ping the captain on the deck if they see any unusual activity like long halts or path deviation.
Although it is an agreeable fact that IoT cannot stop sea waves, this intelligent technology can definitely help in damage control before the ship hits the deck. If you’re lucky enough, the sensors can also tell you the exact location of your precious cargo.
The aforementioned one was just one instance, but IIoT comes with many other benefits in one box. Mentioned below are some more:
According to a 2014 report, more than US $10 million losses in Q4 were due to cargo theft. It’s a huge number and can put any small operator out of business instantly. With IoT, these stolen trucks can be tracked back and save souls and money. Also, related losses like fuel theft, delay due to breakdown and more can be tracked instantly and appropriate steps can be taken.
More often than not, truck operators forget to give rest to their big machines due to emergency or work load and face the breakdown while on the road. These smart systems can remind you about when you need to take your truck for service and what exactly the problem is; saving you a few more extra bucks that mechanics charge unnecessarily.
Real Time Data
If you’re opting route A to deliver the goods and there’s another route available for the same destination then the telematics connected to your office computer can get you the needed comparison. One can then opt for the route which is better in terms of fuel consumption, road condition, overall time and vehicle compatibility.
Overall Infrastructure Improvement
The aforementioned things are not too big individually but if all of them are taken into account together, they’re the base of your profit. Cargo security, vehicle maintenance and real time data are important parameters for freight movement and IoT helps improve the overall process of goods movement.
Overall, IoT is transforming the supply chain and trucking industry in terms of both trust and performance, which is for the mutual benefit for not only end consumers like us but for fleet operators as well. In the upcoming time, the shipping industry would be highly reliable on IoT and who knows one day we might be able to predict lost cargo boxes from thick jungles or a maze ofunderwater algae as well!
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