Technology continues to provide new opportunities for you shippers to attain real-time, valuable information about tracking your freight. In fact, global logistics provider Cisco and DHL estimated that $1.9 trillion dollars of economic value could be generated by the use of Internet of Things IoT (communication between machines over the internet) for asset tracking solutions in the global logistics and supply chain industry. Here are some of the ways tech is working for logistics experts and shippers to enhance visibility, safety and efficiencies in the transportation of goods.
There are perishable goods, pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials and many other products that require a range of temperature controlled environments or specific storage conditions. Sensor technology continues to evolve to monitor these sensitivities in real-time so you can effectively track your freight. For example, Honeywell has developed Connected Freight Solutions, small sensor tags that are able to detect a variety of truck storage conditions, including temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, and pressure, as well loading status. They can be programmed to send immediate alerts to the shippers if damage has been done to product in the loading/offloading process, as well as condition changes. The small tags may be attached to parcels, or pallets. This ongoing collection of data in real-time is transmitted to a cloud platform, and may be integrated with a transportation management system.
SMARTrailer, is another example of group of sensors that monitor cargo as things like door movement and tire pressure, alerting the driver and carrier of maintenance needs in advance, and quick response times to tire issues to help minimize problems and delays. The SkyBitz Cargo Sensor uses ultrasound technology to monitor the length of a trailer, detecting a pallet of goods anywhere in that trailer for increased shipment visibility.
Cargo Security and Theft Prevention
Rapidly expanding technologies provide new avenues in theft prevention, which has a big impact on the bottom-line for shippers across North America. According to CargoNet supply chain security firm, $17.2 million in freight was reported stolen from the United States and Canada during the second quarter of 2017, a decline from $31.5 million for last year’s second quarter. Warehouses were the prime targets of theft, followed by unsecured truck yards.
A combination of real-time, GPS technology with satellite and cellular abilities, along with IoT sensing devices, are allowing for more comprehensive security. Boundaries can be established, so that if freight moves outside a particular “zone” or stops for a prolonged period of time, an alert is issued immediately. There are locking devices around cargo pallets, acting as a tracker and sending out an alarm if the lock is broken. The opportunities to have more eyes on tracking your freight has never been greater.