The invention of the internet has led to the discoveries of various new things that are day by day transforming the entire world. The buzzword IoT (Internet of Things) is one such thing which is taking over old traditional operational activities in freight forwarding and container shipping industry while making each process efficient than earlier. By connecting nearly everything from parcels to people, consumer and industrial devices are having chips inserted into them to collect and communicate data.

What is IoT (Internet of Things)?

IoT or Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, machines, sensors, and the internet. In a simple term, it encompasses everything connected to the internet that has sensors or software installed in them. It could be either home appliances, devices attached to automobiles or complex industrial machines.

Example  If you have ever used a smart watch that shows every notification, count your steps, make you attend call then you know what an IoT is and its application.

  • How about switching off the lights of your home sitting inside the cabin of your office!
  • How about getting notified whenever someone enters your home without your information!
  • And how about tracking your shipment online with just a few clicks on your mobile phone!

From telling vehicle distance, traffic data to finding the best route, consumer and industrial trend in IoT is emerging at a great pace. Big industries such as manufacturing, banking, telecommunications, or transportation are eagerly looking forward to take full advantage of it. As per estimation, the IoT was believed to cross more than $1.9 trillion in value within the supply chain and logistics in 2020, but the outbreak of the corona virus acted as a catalyst to this estimated value. 

In the Logistics and container shipping industry, IoT is being actively adopted on a growing array of transportation assets, enabling users to track in-transit, geo-fenced location, the current status of assets, etc. 

IoT in logistics allows the extraction of data from every entity part of the loop. The availability of a larger set of real-time data and the ability to analyze improve the strategic decision-making capabilities largely. 

Let’s see some of the significant use of the IoT in Logistics and container shipping industry

Location Tracking

Who doesn’t want to track location while their goods are on the way! We track even our online food orders until it makes its way from the restaurant to home. Then how can big shipment ordered by industrialists and companies be missed?

IoT is now been efficiently used in Logistics to enhance visibility- from ensuring timely shipment of good’s to checking quality until it reaches the point of destination. Tracking becomes very useful in case of perishable items like fruits, dairy products, biological products, etc. Tracking can help companies decode information regarding the exact location where the goods might have got rotten. 

Long route shipments are easily manageable as IoT helps to know the current status of the traffic and helps to find the best alternative routes. Real-time data offers more insight and protect shipments from potential disruption.  

Fleet Management

IoT is immensely being used to maximize the efficiency of transportation and simplify fleet management. Various gadgets and devices are now being installed in vehicles to provide real-time data to make decisions and estimation. It gives a more transparent view of how the resources are utilized. It extracts every data about engine condition, fuel levels, tire pressure, vehicle speed, braking, and drifting. It helps automate vehicle maintenance and repair. All this gives a broad view to determine various things, avoid mistakes, and make better planning. With more accurate information, the operations are simplified, inefficiencies are decreased and customers are given better services. Some companies are also looking forward to use the same technologies to track their staff’s health and well-being.  

Better Environment Sensing

The ability to sense the environment and monitor temperature is useful in supply chain management, especially during the transition. Connected sensors and devices on reefers can help sense the outer and nearby surrounding and transmit data to gather useful information which further helps to make a wise decision. IoT based technologies can capture data related to environmental factors such as temperature, pressure, humidity, light exposure. It helps reduce the supply chain waste even for the most sensitive goods. 

For example – The truck carrying perishable goods when crosses a cold country does not need to be vigilant for maintaining cool temperature. But as soon as the device attached to the truck senses a rise in temperature outside will send a signal to notify the driver to regulate the temperature.

The ability to sense and monitor the temperature during the entire transition is coming to be a helpful measure to help maintain the quality of perishable goods and temperature-sensitive cargoes.

Warehouse Management

The ability of IoT devices to scan and determine the structure and layout of the warehouse helps to find the best way to segregate goods. This way the warehouse space is utilized at its best. Without much involvement of labor and staff members, the best layout for product distribution can be determined. 

The sensors are highly effective in notifying the quality and quantity of goods inside the racks. All this helps a lot in reducing waste, taking precautions before goods rot, and increase efficiency and reduce extra labor costs. 

Smart Containers

The smart technologies seem to have an intent to make everything existing in the world SMART. Smartphones, smartwatches, and now smart Containers. These are just containers that are set apart from general cargo containers. 

This is because they have internet-connected smart devices attached to them that sends notifications about various things happening in and outside the box. The devices can sense surroundings, monitor temperature, and report changes without human interaction. All this takes place automatically. The driver gets notification within the fraction of seconds and hence can save the cargo from any disruption.  

Containers, apart from being smart, have also started to be available on the e-commerce platform. BOXXPORT provides an open market place showcasing a wide range of new and used shipping containers to trade online worldwide. With the amalgamation of digitization and curated technologies, the logistics and container shipping industry is transforming at a greater pace.

These systems provide automation, calculation, and estimation that helps companies make better planning. Real-time vital information is paving a way for a smarter and more efficient supply chain & logistics. We can sense a massive revolution ahead by looking at the way IoT is leading the current operations in Logistics.