5 Global Trends for IoT Logistics Solutions: How to Manage Supply Chains in 2023
February 06, 2023
Technology trends for logistics, in general, have not changed over the past few years – IoT solutions remain in the spotlight. However, the accents have shifted. The experience in 2022 has shown how vulnerable a logistic network really is. We have seen unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, closures of manufacturing sites, a shipping crisis, shortages of vehicles and essentials, and calls for strikes by carriers, among others. Can Enterprise IoT solutions help manage the shifts the industry has endured over the past year?
What Are the Benefits of IoT Logistics Solutions Adoption?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is not just a network of smart devices, it is a whole concept that provides detailed information from data that has been collected and analyzed. IoT ecosystems are very custom: for example, you can design machine vision capabilities into an automotive system to help drivers detect obstacles on the road, or connect a vehicle to a Blockchain network that is highly-valued by logistics to increase the reliability of operations. This makes the Internet of Things a convenient platform for increasing the digitalization of the industry and eliminating bottlenecks.
For now, logistics is one of the most prospective areas for IoT adoption through its 3 interconnected components:
The IoT ecosystem allows you to create a consistent digital supply chain in which all participants, vehicles, warehouses, and cargo interact. This is fully compatible with the course of the industry this year – increasing the sustainability and transparency of supply chains. So, let’s dwell on the urgent needs of the industry and determine where exactly the ubiquitous capacities of IoT in logistics should be directed in 2023.
IoT Logistics Solutions for Advanced Analytics
Unexpected economic and political crisis, and a lack of flexibility in supply chains led to cargo being trapped in ports for months last year. Could these consequences be predicted? In fact, yes – and this is perhaps the main advantage that the Internet of Things provides to logistics. Advanced analytics tools based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), use modern databases to process data collected from all departments within a company. Then, the data is compared to millions of global trends. As a result, we receive precise reports and predictions applicable to YOUR situation.
The real case here is to predict price increases, shortages of raw materials, or strikes. As a result, it allows for planning demand, distribution of resources, production capacities, etc., to be achieved more accurately. Since the global economy continues to suffer from inflation, recession, and excess supply, the supply chain requires more precise planning.
IoT-based Management for Flexible and Transparent Supply Chains
A necessary step to flexible supply chains is to adapt your warehouses and routes to possible and unexpected changes without reducing the throughput. Therefore, you should follow the following trends, and IoT can help you with it:
- Multimodal Transportation. Although sea shipping is still in high in-demand, many companies prefer to have an alternative option in situations where their containers get stuck. IoT in Logistics helps to have a holistic view of multimodal transportation. You will improve cargo tracking and work coordination, increase security, and automate paperwork through it. Cargo under IoT-based control is visible at all stages, while transportation management is just as simple.
- Real-time Monitoring. When logistics companies have real-time delivery data, they can better match demand with human resources or available freight capacity. This enables intelligent automation across the entire network and allows supply chain managers to respond quickly to disruptions and unforeseen events. Cloud-based IoT applications are convenient management platforms where all data about the cargo and vehicles flock in real-time. Having corresponding access rights, involved parties can observe the supply chain in real-time and change components if something goes wrong.
- Predictive Asset Management. In 2023, companies are advised to move to the concept of "just in case" when it comes to inventory planning. Strict IoT-based control helps to know the exact location, quantity, and condition of reserves. The most common way to ensure this is to mark cargo with RFID tags. By comparing global forecasts with your internal predictions, you can strike a balance between inventory optimization and reserves for unforeseen situations.
IoT Logistics Solutions VS Shortage of Staff
Lack of labor in logistics is not a new problem due to the specific working conditions. This is especially true for truck drivers. A minimization of risks can make this industry more attractive for them. As mentioned above, analytic tools for IoT in Logistics allow you to predict crisis or get optimal directions – which means avoiding traffic jams and eliminating missed shipments for drivers. IoT-based Predictive Maintenance helps eliminate breakdowns on the way, while detailed tracking of the vehicle status eliminates false accusations of drivers. When traveling long distances, IoT can supply drivers with wearables to monitor their health, to avoid accidents on the road.
Moreover, in the last year, the problem of a shortage of professionals who would manage complex logistics and minimize risks and threats has become acute. In this case, IoT analytics is also a specialist! In the absence of a sufficient number of qualified personnel, it will help to make more effective management decisions based on the data analyzed. The more data involved in the analysis, the more accurate predictions AI will deliver for you. Which helps plan transportation for the future. Resulting in making optimal use of existing cargo capacity and eliminate inefficiencies.
Warehouses Automation & Predictive Maintenance
The wide adoption of smart warehouses grew exponentially during the pandemic. What used to be seen as a promising technology, has now become a global trend. Forecasts predict that this trend will continue to expand globally. Warehouse automation is based on accurate, real-time information about the location of cargo which is transmitted to the cloud using RFID tags, for example. Additionally, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are capable of knowing the exact location and quantity of the items being transported, and the data about the cargo is continuously updated.
When it comes to vehicles, IoT-based diagnostic devices are able to collect data, assess the condition of its components by detecting specific noises and vibrations, and track fluid levels and the driver’s behavior. It detects the aggressive driving style by registering excessive acceleration, sharp cornering, and hard braking during vehicle motions. Remarkably, even such devices can be custom-made and optimized for specific needs: for example, implement only an accelerometer, gyroscope, inclination sensor, or a combination of them all.
Automation of transport in logistics is said to be a trend of a more distant future, but still tangible. This is especially true for last-mile delivery using drones or specialized vehicles. Obtaining data on the cargo, the smart vehicles know exactly what to deliver and to whom.
IoT Logistics Solutions for the Green Future
The UK, Canada, Japan, and a few other countries have already adopted a net zero CO2 emissions commitment by 2050. Since logistics is responsible for about 11% of global CO2 emissions, the “greening” trend is also inevitable here. If companies focus primarily on asset electrification, then IoT sensors will help track the emissions accurately. By having the full data on emissions from each vehicle and logistics site, it is easier to build a strategy for their gradual reduction.
This trend is popular among the masses: 85% of consumers globally have already developed more environmentally friendly purchasing behavior. So, what can we expect in the future? IoT-based analytic tools help track the moods and behavior of your customers in order not to underestimate the “green” trend among others.
How To Keep Up With Trends for IoT in Logistics?
Think trends are changing too fast? Well, it's partly true, so we recommend evaluating business needs first and existing technologies afterwards. The IoT ecosystem is a convenient highly-customizable platform compatible with digital trends of today and the future. In the near future, your product development process will definitely benefit if you implement the following:
- IoT data-collecting for having all the assets at a glance
- IoT data-processing for smart automation of warehouses and real-time control
- IoT data-analyzing for predictive maintenance and precise SC planning
Experts suppose that those who analyze big data, including data from the Internet of Things, have an advantage. Therefore, it is quite possible that this trend will remain with us for a long time. Having mastered analytics within IoT logistics solutions – you will be able to predict logistical trends by yourself.