Some analysts believe that IoT is still at square one and its standards are too fragmented. Of course, the Internet of Things will continue to emerge, and this will allow the improvements not only at the level of an individual company but also in a way the companies cooperate with each other. IoT-enabled infrastructure could make business interactions literally seamless thus creating maximally comfortable conditions for companies and clients.
Today IoT market offers solutions that allow companies to improve the operations transparency and control over the issues that were mostly dependent on circumstances in the past.
Transport logistics could serve as one of the clear examples of an industry that has a remarkable capacity to transform under the influence of IoT technologies.
Until recently, transport logistics was a high-risk sphere of services. Sudden vehicle crashes, theft, spoilage of transported goods, route disruptions, last-mile delivery problems – all these issues lead to sizeable losses for all participants of the supply chain.
IoT as the source of innovations in transport logistics
Now, logistics companies can significantly improve the quality and safety of transportation. The use of connected devices – all kinds of sensors and mobile communication equipment, allows companies to track the movements of goods with unprecedented accuracy and provide their customers with precise information about the delivery status and shipment deadlines. The technology of GPS-monitoring makes it possible to optimize the routes, reduces the time and expenses. Computerized containers and vehicles automatically transmit data about their location and current technical conditions, fuel and lubricant consumption, etc.
Such innovations can provide a logistics company with a base of loyal customers from the health, food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The ability to arrange real-time monitoring of transporting conditions for the goods sensitive to the humidity and temperature of storage, providing customers with an actual status of cargo movement, visible evidence of guarantees for the safety of transported goods – all these are the strongest competitive advantages in the logistics business.
By the way, the above aspects of the service are interesting not only for b2b clients. Domino’s Pizza, which uses IoT technologies to amuse hungry customers between order and delivery, is an excellent example of how data can be used to improve user experience and customer loyalty. People like to know what and when is going on, whether it’s about their favorite pizza or delivery of cargo worth tens of thousands of dollars.
IoT also opens up new opportunities for last-mile delivery. Amazon drones are among those things that became possible due to the development of the IoT ecosystem.
Looks cool, doesn’t it? Even if the drone does not deliver the parcel within 13 minutes like in this test, the convenience and speed of delivery are pretty impressive.
Here is a summary of the opportunities that IoT technologies offer to logistics companies:
- Better asset management
- Predictive asset maintenance
- Lowering the risk of theft
- Enhanced customer experience with detailed order tracking
Last Mile Delivery
- Mail delivery / pickup optimization
- Customers notification
- Flexible delivery address
- Return trip maximization
- Automatic replenishment and anticipatory shipping
- Smart lockers
- Delivery on the first attempt
- Tracking expiration dates
Projections for the future of transport logistics
According to experts, shortly the majority of carrier companies and logistics providers will be able to work in a shared, standardized ecosystem, building the most efficient schemes of cargo delivery for both corporate and private customers.
Further segmentation of the logistics services market will develop in two directions:
- Logistics companies serving the end customer market (last mile)
- Large providers managing the operation of large logistics hubs
In each of these segments, the high level of specialization and coordination between companies of both types will be essential. Technical implementation of these processes is highly dependent on IoT-technologies.
The presence of a shared ecosystem for logistics companies will make it possible to implement the most suitable delivery schemes for the end customer. For example, when the goods ordered by the customer in various online stores will be delivered by one courier and literally in one box, having passed through a single shared center of goods consolidation.
Although such a level of cooperation for customer service is still a matter of the future, we already see a significant change in the logistics of services through the technologies of the Internet of Things. Cargoes, containers, and transport, through the efforts of specialists, have turned into those “smart things” that actively interact with each other and greatly simplify the work of transport logistics companies.