Logistics is one of the critical operations for businesses all over the world. A small failure in its operational activities leads to a massive loss of productivity and lower income. Here, the entrance of IoT has become a game-changer for an overall logistics business ecosystem transformation.
The IoT technology has become a one-stop solution for the next industrial revolution in the logistics sector. Since its inception, IoT technology has stimulated physical objects to communicate seamlessly. It provides billions of data points that help companies decide how they act, react and plan for the future.According to market reports - The global IoT in the logistics market was valued at USD 24.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 84.9 billion in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 16.4% during the forecast period.
[Exhibit 1] Global IoT in Logistics Market 2016-2026
When IoT was a buzzword, the logistics companies pushed their legacy systems for tracking thousands of moving assets daily. Before the commencement of the digital era, organizations used manual methods to track the movement of their assets.
As technology has evolved and smart devices have emerged, the companies hold even a better grasp on the precise location of every asset. The introduction of IoT technology in the logistics sector unlocks opportunities in so many ways.
The IoT technology in the logistics industry helps organizations with accurate shipment tracking, monitoring surrounding situations, and more efficient fleet management.
This post will discuss how IoT is transforming the logistics industry, offering better value and efficiency.
How IoT technology remodels the logistics industry?
Here are the 7 significant ways that explain how IoT is changing the spectrum of the logistics industry.
1. Smart inventory tracking
Smart inventory management using IoT devices is one of the salient gifts for logistics organizations. The IoT devices provide:
- Real-time visibility across warehouses
- Visibility of production and distribution centers
- Strengthening the legacy inventory management system significantly
The IoT sensors and systems help organizations reduce inventory costs and eliminate inventory management errors. These devices allow fleet managers to track assets in no time and send alerts at the hour of emergency or any accident.
Smart shelves are one of the best examples of intelligent inventory tracking. IoT's smart shelf system resolves the primary concern of tracking inventory for the logistics organization. In large warehouses and stores, smart shelves help the workforce to find the right product at the right time. These shelves are built-in with smart RFID tags and weight sensors that allow managers to find out which product is available at what place and how much it weighs.
2. Warehouse management
The warehouse is the core of any logistics business, but if it is not managed correctly, it costs enormous amounts of money to companies and affects their competitiveness. Another most significant benefit IoT devices offer to organizations is the well-ordered management of the warehouses and yards. In the logistics sector, warehouse management is one of the most critical concerns for organizations. It seems a small task, but in contrast, it is entirely different.
To save the organizations from warehouse losses, IoT-enabled mobile devices come into the picture. These devices are equipped with the technologies to track the vehicles, inventory data, equipment, and more, giving businesses an exact idea about the warehouse activities. The intervention of IoT-enabled devices enhances the organization's efficiency and accuracy, enabling more machine-to-machine interactions and information sharing.
3. Supply chain visibility
Supply chain involves a long series of operations, from orders to shipments and deliveries; it passes several stages to reach the final destination. In this process, a single order error can become a nightmare for the company. This long chain affects the organization significantly in terms of both monetary and productivity.
To avoid losses and eliminate order errors, IoT comes as a boon for organizations. This technology tracks the products in real-time and decreases the chances of order errors. The IoT devices are connected to sensing technologies that minimize wastage which leads to-
- Improved visibility in the supply chain operations
- Increased profits
- Better communication
- Decreasing disruptions
4. Customer engagement
Offering a better customer experience is the ultimate goal of every business. However, the logistics sector does not directly interact with the end-users, but it eventually plays a significant role in connecting the companies with their potential customers.
A satisfied customer is a key to every business success. Thus, supply chain businesses must always look for the threats and opportunities related to their industry. This way they can counter them in time and make their customers happy and satisfied.
Here, IoT technology help organizations to stay connected with their customers more effectively and efficiently. The IoT devices provide users real-time access to the delivery of information intuitively. Such information visibility keeps the customer engaged and helps enterprises in enhancing customer engagement to a great extent.
5. Analytical uses
Another significant advantage IoT offers to the logistics and supply chain industry is its analytical uses. IoT comes up with an analytical engine of billions of data points, which help companies to predict prospects with the help of accurate and reliable data. Here integration of IoT with robotics and AI plays a significant role. The integration with AI engines leads to a constantly growing pool of information.
The IoT's AWS analytics supports time-series analysis that helps organizations analyze the performance of devices over the required period. With these analyses, companies understand how and where the devices are being used. They can continuously monitor device data to predict maintenance issues and monitor sensors to anticipate and react to environmental conditions.
6. Robotics and AI integration
IoT's integration with AI and robotics makes the logistics process speedier and more efficient. Organizations are always looking for ways to speed up the storage and shipment process. IoT integration with AI makes these processes more manageable. The use of robotics and AI solutions in warehouses and yards help organizations to improve their performance and reduce errors. According to MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global AI in IoT market size to grow from USD 5.1 billion in 2019 to USD 16.2 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.0% during the forecast period.
AI also helps predict the changes in the production cost, which allows businesses to adopt the necessary precautions earlier and save themselves from additional expenses. On the other end, Logistics robots automate the process of storing and moving goods as they make their way through the supply chain. They're often used in warehouses and large stores to streamline the logistics process.
7. Fleet management
Fleet management has an essential role in the logistics and supply chain industry. In fleet management, managing vehicle usage, service routes, maintenance schedules are a few of the critical segments which require proper consideration for better logistics operations.
To ensure operational efficiency, fleet managers need to ensure that fleet downtimes are minimized. Here IoT's RFID systems, scanners, real-time trackers help organizations increase visibility over their assets, enabling them to streamline processes and ensure that their fleets are running.
The list does not end yet; there are many more things IoT has in its bucket to offer to the logistics and supply chain industry. The IoT-based digital logistics chain provides enormous benefits; it supports the organizations with the data and helps enhance their productivity and operations to a great extent. This technology leverages every significant advantage that can make your logistics business successful than ever before.
So, have you tried any of the ways mentioned above in your logistics business? Tell us your experience in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.
And if not then, adopt this robust technology today in your business and give your logistics business new wings to fly high. Get in touch with a company that has excellent expertise in logistics technology services. When it comes to achieving business success with cutting-edge technologies, a professional hand is always beneficial in meeting all your business requirements in a one-go.