To ship perishable products for long distances while ensuring their quality, logistics, and transportation companies use refrigerated shipping containers to ensure that cargo does not spoil during its journey.
While these containers deliver the functionality logistics desire, there isn’t any way for these companies to monitor and manage operations during cold-chain transportation. They often lack the much-desired transparency, needed to track the products while they are en route. This hinders their ability to take action in case the refrigeration system in these containers fails.
Fleet operators, especially in the cold chain, require remote cold-chain monitoring systems that can help them to track the cargo being shipped, and alert them about obstructions that can affect the delivery.
What is Cargo Monitoring?
Cargo monitoring is the process of tracking the location and condition of cargo during transportation.
This can be done using a variety of technologies, such as GPS, RFID, and IoT sensors. Cargo monitoring solutions can be used to improve safety, quality, compliance, logistics, customer service, risk reduction, decision-making, and stakeholder expectations.
In the future, cargo monitoring is expected to become even more important as the volume of global trade continues to grow.
Cargo monitoring technologies are also becoming more sophisticated, which is making it possible to track cargo in real time and collect more detailed data about the condition of the cargo.
This information can be used to ensure that cargo arrives in good condition.
But ever thought of monitoring Cargo with IoT technologies?
Here is how IoT comes into the picture.
How the IoT Things Come to the Picture?
By using IoT technology, logistics businesses are now capable of supervising their trucks delivering the package along with parameters that determine the quality of the products being shipped.
IoT assists in managing cold chain transportation through its remote and real-time monitoring features and enables you to handle temperature-dependent products from the comfort of your office.
By leveraging the interconnection between the fleet and your smartphone, you can detect anomalies and respond to them, enabling you to prevent the degradation of your products.
Benefits of Cargo Monitoring in Cold Chain Transportation
The cold chain monitoring system, powered by IoT technology, aids in optimizing logistics businesses. The system detects and responds to risks related to the degradation of perishable products while they are conveyed in refrigerated trailers.
Here is a list of benefits cargo monitoring offers in cold chain transportation.
1. Immediate Alerts about Anomalies
Trucks are the lifeline of any transportation business. Not only do their condition and performance affect the delivery of products on time, but they are also responsible for powering the refrigeration units installed in the reefers.
Moreover, since trucks may conduct multiple deliveries on a single rub, any problem that may occur in the engine or other components of the truck can affect the entire distribution process.
With the remote monitoring capability, powered by IoT technology, companies can monitor the engine health, the tire pressure, and the working of reefers to make sure that everything runs smoothly while the goods are delivered.
In case, any anomaly does occur while the truck is on-road, an alert about the issue is sent to a system accessible by the fleet manager. The manager can hence ask the driver to inspect the affected area and repair it.
The alerts can also be sent if the temperature in the container drops. Hence proactive measures can be taken to repair the venting systems, ensuring the optimum quality of the products.
2. Reduced Operational Costs
Running a logistics business can be very expensive as they require high maintenance and special care to manage cold chain transportation. A huge workforce is required to operate the cold chain and heavy investment is supposed to be made in terms of capital for cold storage and refrigerating equipment.
Additionally, moving goods from one location to another is also very expensive while ensuring that all regulations and compliances set by the government are addressed.
IoT-powered cold chain technology brings transparency in the logistics business, which reduces the dependency on the workforce for the supervision of perishable goods being shipped.
Moreover, chances of theft, misplacement of goods, improper packaging, storage, and spoilage of environment-sensitive products are reduced which further results in a decrease in overheads and operational costs.
3. Increased Efficiency and Productivity
The use of technology not only helps in reducing operational costs but also boosts the efficiency and productivity of cold chain logistics. Processes that are generally very time-consuming and require excessive human intervention can be quickly accomplished by using this technology.
For instance, temperature monitoring of the goods that exhausts a lot of productive time of labor can be automated via sensors installed around the cargo.
This will not only save productive time for monitoring but also save time wasted due to manual entering of data and its analysis.
The data gathered through temperature sensors can be easily stored and compiled in cloud storage, from where the data can be called and analyzed to generate useful insights.
Cargo Monitoring IoT logistics solution helps to identify the bottlenecks in their operations and erase them through smart actions. Thus, the process efficiency increases, resulting in better outcomes for the companies.
4. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Remote cargo monitoring systems developed using IoT technology allow logistics to not only protect the cargo from environmental conditions but also help them to ensure its safe delivery to the recipient on time.
This increases the customer satisfaction rate which further opens up the possibilities for more business.
It is a difficult task to accomplish since multiple participants are involved in the packaging, loading, and movement of goods.
A minor drawback even at a single place can result in the spoilage of goods that results in a loss. Monitoring of cargo safety and quality hence allows companies to make sure that the customer receives the package while it is fresh and unaffected by any environmental harm.
5. Product Integrity
In cold chain transportation, cargo monitoring solutions play a crucial role in ensuring product integrity, which is a significant benefit for businesses and consumers alike.
By implementing robust cargo monitoring systems, businesses can closely monitor and maintain the required temperature, humidity, and other environmental parameters throughout the transportation process.
This real-time cargo monitoring enables proactive identification and mitigation of potential issues that could compromise the integrity of the products.
Transportation temperature monitoring helps prevent spoilage, degradation, or loss of efficacy in pharmaceuticals and perishable goods. It also minimizes the risk of contamination and bacterial growth, ensuring that consumers receive safe and high-quality products.
Furthermore, cargo monitoring solutions provide valuable data and insights on transportation conditions, allowing businesses to improve their supply chain efficiency, optimize routing, and address any operational challenges.
6. Regulatory Compliance
Cargo monitoring solutions generate comprehensive data logs and reports, which serve as valuable documentation during regulatory audits and inspections.
These records provide accurate and detailed information about temperature conditions, maintenance activities, and any incidents or deviations encountered during transit.
Such transparent and traceable information strengthens regulatory compliance and builds trust with regulators, customers, and partners.
It enables real-time monitoring, proactive intervention, and meticulous record-keeping.
This industrial IoT solution empowers companies to meet and surpass industry-specific regulations, thereby safeguarding the quality and safety of temperature-sensitive goods throughout the supply chain.
7. Creates Smart Contracts
IoT cargo monitoring solutions can help to create smart contracts that are more efficient, transparent, and secure. This can benefit all parties involved in the supply chain, including shippers, carriers, and consignees.
IoT sensors can collect real-time data about the location, condition, and status of cargo. This data can be used to trigger smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that are stored on a blockchain.
Smart contracts can be programmed with conditional logic, which means that they can only be executed if certain conditions are met.
For example, a smart contract could be programmed to only release payment to a supplier if the cargo arrives at its destination in good condition.
Smart contracts are stored on a blockchain, which is a transparent and immutable ledger.
This means that all parties involved in a smart contract can view the terms of the contract and verify that it has been executed correctly.
The cargo monitoring solution powered by the technology of IoT allows cold chain companies to optimize their transportation processes.
This system allows logistics to keep an eye on the conditions inside a reefer being pulled by a truck on the road in real-time.
By leveraging the capabilities of cargo monitoring, companies can now get alerts about reefer-related issues, decrease operational costs, boost efficiency, and deliver their customers unspoiled goods on time.