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The Internet of Things can play a key role in the logistics industry
Apr 04, 2018

There is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a series of changes. Without human involvement, the increasing physical connectivity to the Internet and its ability to share data has changed the way the world works.

From smart cars to biomedical sensors, the Internet of Things has a huge impact. As we move from the current 15 billion connected devices to the estimated 50 billion connected devices in 2020, these changes will happen quickly. However, what actually affects the logistics industry, both from a business perspective and a consumer perspective? Here's what we know...

I. What is the future of the Internet of Things?

A report from IDC and SAP predicts that the Internet of Things will increase delivery and supply chain efficiency by 15%, and many logistics experts are using these new technologies to improve systems and supply networks, reduce costs, and find new opportunities to generate more revenue. But what practical application is the Internet of Things in the end and what will happen in the future?

Second, how to use the Internet of Things to improve warehouses?

Distribution centers are an essential part of logistics and supply chain, so any upgrade or improvement process will greatly reduce costs. The Internet of Things has improved the way warehouses operate in many ways and will continue to grow:

Product safety

The security of goods is one of the most basic requirements of the warehouse. Both alarm sensors and surveillance video use the Internet of Things to monitor theft and protect assets. New technologies allow companies to do better in security. You simply use the application to automatically lock the door, receive an abnormal action alert, and then use the captured data to identify and improve areas of concern.

2. Employee safety

In addition, another important area of concern for logistics companies is employee safety. The Internet of Things is an important means to monitor equipment safety and ensure employee safety. According to DHL's logistics report, U.S. Pacific Railroad uses the Internet of Things to predict equipment failure and reduce the risk of derailment. The company placed the sensors on the track to monitor the integrity of the wheels, thereby reducing bearing-related derailment because the derailment caused huge delay losses of up to $40 million per accident.

Imagine if the forklift can remind you that the device itself is defective before using the forklift. Then, you can greatly improve the security of the warehouse and optimize your machine. In addition, due to the popularity of more Internet of Things devices, the interaction between people and devices is reduced, and the risk of accidents is greatly reduced.

3. Optimization

This may not sound particularly new now, because many companies have already started using these types of technologies (or similar technologies) a few years ago, but the Internet of Things is the most useful, and its benefit is the ability to integrate all data together. In order to fully understand your business.

The Internet of Things allows companies to fully understand the situation of the warehouse - from the aspects of ambient temperature, inventory quantity, and equipment performance. Based on these data, companies can analyze overall performance and make adjustments to improve product safety, employee safety, and productivity.

Third, how to improve the distribution of Internet of things?

Improving operational efficiency is the core of logistics, and of course IoT can increase productivity. One of the biggest areas is transport and fleet management. Here are some useful methods:

1. Tracking

Thanks to a company like Amazon, customers now want to be able to track their goods in real time from purchase to delivery. However, in the past this usually required someone to scan a bar code on at least one node during shipping. RFID tags can connect to the cloud and share location data, eliminating the need for employees to do anything other than distribution. The benefits are so great, according to the University of Auburn, 96% of retailers are planning to use RFID technology.

RFID tags can also track inventory in the warehouse and help reduce unnecessary costs. In fact, a report in RFID Magazine shows that the accuracy of the inventory unit level is about 65%, and RFID can increase the accuracy to 95% or even higher.

2. Delivery

Is delivery delay often caused by bad weather or unsafe road conditions? Using GPS-tagged GPS and location data, the fleet can take a proactive approach to staying informed and avoiding possible delays. As the increase in cargo volume may lead to the consolidation of transport carriers, a more standardized transport experience will emerge.

3. Analysis

Of course, you can also improve human resources by analyzing all data. Big data can help you see which drivers are the most efficient and find the preferred route and identify inefficient individuals. Then you can train all employees to ensure that your company is optimizing every available opportunity.

Fourth, what is the significance of Internet of Things to consumers?

We now know how the Internet of Things can bring benefits to businesses. However, what can the Internet of Things do for your customers? Here are some of the main ways that the Internet of Things can change consumers:

1. Transparency

Today's consumers place more emphasis on credibility and reliability than ever before. The logistics information that is sent directly to the smartphone app will give the customer confidence in your service, make everything work as expected, and consumers will no longer need the hotline service.

2. Efficiency and convenience

All collected data will also make purchasing patterns and behaviors easier to find. If you need to set up repeat purchases automatically, and then combine mobile payments such as Apple Pay, you can improve your shopping experience and increase customer satisfaction.

3. Recognition and feedback

Of course, with all the information collected by the Internet of Things, you can also start tracking the most loyal customers and see where they are spending, which allows you to provide the best customers with marketing opportunities and sales potential.

The Internet of Things era is an exciting time for the logistics industry. There are so many opportunities to simplify chain management and optimize every aspect of production. Customers will also benefit from easy tracking, better shopping experience and more feedback. All in all, in 2018, the Internet of Things will bring us tremendous changes, let us act!