Internet of Things (IoT) tech is everywhere — and if you’re not using it in your shipping and freight logistics, you’re missing substantial opportunities to track your shipments, monitor shipping equipment, and more. Delayed and damaged shipments happen, but by implementing some IoT technology, you can substantially reduce losses due to shipping damage. In shipping and logistics, IoT devices often take the form of RFID chips, GPS-enabled trackers, and sensors of all kinds. They can give you access to a wealth of information about your shipments that can help you prevent shipping damage and get more shipments through the supply chain on schedule.
Track the Speed and Location of Shipments
How fast are your shipments moving? Do you know where they are right now? GPS-enabled IoT trackers can give you shipping data speed, so you can detect and mitigate delays as they occur. Rather than being at their mercy. Anyone with a stake in the shipment can benefit from the real-time location and movement tracking. As it can provide the information needed to plan the processing of shipments, prepare for production once suppliers are received, and eliminate other bottlenecks.
Monitor Shipping Conditions in Real-Time
Plenty of goods have to remain in ideal conditions at all points during shipping. Perishable foodstuffs, medicine, electronics, and other items have a temperature, humidity, and other environmental requirements. Sophisticated IoT tracking devices can monitor metrics like temperature, light exposure, air exposure, and humidity. They can even broadcast real-time alerts if a shipment exceeds required thresholds. This data can be invaluable in preventing shipment loss due to problems like food spoilage.
You can use shipping data to pinpoint where, and under what conditions shipping damage has occurred, and by whose. Often, shipping damage is the result of problems with the route. Shipping goods by truck over a rough road can generate a lot of vibration damage, for example. A vibration monitor can pinpoint exactly where that damage is occurring, so you can make changes, like improving your packaging, choosing a different shipping method or a better truck, or rerouting your shipments.
Warehouse More Efficiently
Gone are the days when someone had to manually record each shipment’s arrival, record wherein the facility it’s stored, and then record its movement to the next link in the supply chain. Now, you can scan an RFID chip to catalog the arrival of shipments to your warehouse, locate them easily when it’s time to send them on to the next link in the chain, and scan them out when they leave.
When you receive shipments, you can simply scan the IoT-enabled tracking and monitoring device to make sure that the shipment wasn’t exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, shocks, vibrations, or other potentially damaging conditions. IoT devices allow you to automate the settlement process. If a shipment doesn’t throw up any red flags, settlement can be triggered. That streamlines warehousing and storage, minimizes the potential for human error in the documentation chain, and improves supplier relationships to streamline supplier management.
Manage Your Fleets
Whether you just have a few vehicles or hundreds, fleet management can be a real challenge. IoT fleet management devices can help you track all the metrics you need to track, including things like mileage, fuel efficiency, driver behavior, maintenance, and location. You can receive diagnostic codes notifying you of problems with your vehicles, upcoming preventative maintenance, and even things like tire pressure. Monitor where your drivers are taking your vehicles, whether they’re sticking to their assigned routes, and whether they’re driving around in the vehicles during off-hours. You can track how safe they’re driving when they’re in your company vehicles. By keeping vehicles in good shape, you can prevent shipping delays from vehicle breakdowns, and by monitoring driver behavior, you can make sure drivers are driving safely, not just to represent your company well, but also to minimize shipment loss or damage due to accidents.
It’s well past time you started using IoT tech to improve your shipping and freight logistics. Technology is constantly evolving to let you gather more and more data about shipping conditions and track shipments in real-time. Adopt the right tools for your company and you’ll be able to ship even faster. With even less shipping damage and loss, than ever.