IoT solutions and sensory technology are transforming operations in shipping and logistics by providing concerned parties with the kind of monitoring that can grant peace of mind and catch problems as soon as they arise. No matter where a company’s cargo is in the supply chain, it can be observed in real-time while providing insightful data on important parameters. This is the power of utilizing IoT tech in logistics – 24/7 monitoring that mitigates risk associated with cargo loss, damage, or spoilage. But how much can you really monitor? And how does it work?
IoT solutions make the transport of cargo throughout the supply chain visible due to the use of sensors powered by cellular and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. By connecting directly to servers through 4G and 5G networks, these sensors can transmit data from almost anywhere. They’re also small, which means they can fit in with all types of shipments without taking up valuable space. These units can monitor multiple different variable conditions and alert managers if the status of these conditions become detrimental to the cargo. Whether you’re shipping fresh produce or a sophisticated piece of tech, both temperature and humidity need to remain at an acceptable level to ensure that the cargo reaches its destination while maintaining its quality. IoT-enabled sensors can monitor temperature, humidity, bacteria, soil quality, air flow, and more. This allows operators and managers to be notified if any adjustments to the cargo compartment need to be made for the sake of the shipment. These sensors also act as security features which can measure linear footage and detect any changes in weight to safeguard against theft. Advantages like these diminish the risks associated with shipping and logistics while increasing confidence and efficiency.
As IoT solutions are adopted in the shipping and logistics industry, we can expect some welcomed changes. In the short-term, IoT-monitoring will mitigate costs and reduce emissions. The latter is made possible by route-analysis and similar processes enabled by IoT. As these benefits and heightened levels of efficiency become further apparent, it’s likely that the industry will become more connected than ever due to customer demand and lowered IoT costs. The digitization of bills of lading (BOL) is yet another change already being implemented in shipping and logistics.
A digital BOL is created when IoT meets blockchain technology. These bills of lading are superior because they can be remotely accessed online by all interested parties. When the data concerning the delivery is stored in the blockchain, the likelihood of data theft is reduced while cybersecurity is increased. The collaboration of these technologies also makes it possible to cancel breached contracts where delivery was delayed or cargo was compromised. Overall, a digital bill of lading improves cargo visibility and helps managers on both sides of the shipment make data-driven decisions.
The power of IoT sensors in shipping and logistics then seems to be significantly tied up with improved visibility. As IoT solutions continue to be adopted, the ability to peer into the global supply chain and make decisions based on monitored conditions, precise data, and analysis will transform efficiency while reducing waste. To learn more about how IoT is changing all kinds of industries, contact us at Evolution Data.