For logistics and supply chain companies, tracking and supervising cargo is a major challenge. They lack a system to track the location and status of the cargo as it is shipped from port to port. Hence, such businesses are compelled to depend on the information shared by cargo carriers regarding the location, safety, and condition of the shipment.
This lack of transparency in the supply chain is a major setback for enterprises operating on fleets. This invisibility in operations is also a nag since the majority of manufactured goods are transported via multiple conveying mediums.
More than 95% of goods manufactured globally are at one-point moved in a container. On a similar note, 90% of the worldâ€™s trade is carried by sea routes. Henceforth, there is no way the safety and quality of the goods can be compromised in the hands of freight carriers alone.
The Internet of Things addresses this issue of cargo handling through its remote and real-time monitoring capabilities. You can leverage freight monitoring solutions based on this technology to supervise the goods being transported. By keeping your eagle eye on several cargo perishing parameters, you can ensure that the products are fresh when your customer receives them.
Here is a list of benefits your business can garner through IoT systems for cargo monitoring:
1) Location Tracking:
The use of global positioning systems (GPS) in fleet companies is not something new. GPS devices are helping truckers to reach their destination without getting lost and enabling fleet operators to track the position of trucks at all times. Now you can use these devices to also track the location of goods.
GPS can be directly attached to products of large size and can be embedded on pallets of smaller items. This becomes especially essential for expensive items that are more likely to be stolen during their transportation. Doing this will help you to ensure that the position of goods and trucks is the same allowing you to ensure the safety of goods.
2) Condition Monitoring:
It is important to take extra care while shipping environment-sensitive products such as food items, medicines, chemicals, etc. Reefers or refrigerated containers are hence used to convey these perishable products. These reefers are powered by an in-built cooling engine that circulates cool air in the storage area to prevent the rotting of the products.
By embedding the likes of temperature sensors in the trailer of the truck, you can monitor the inside conditions of reefers remotely. You can also gain alerts about irregular circumstances such as an increase in the internal temperature of the container through a real-time alert and notification system. This will help you to take quick actions and connect with the truck driver to identify the cause of the issue and resolve it before it leads to the degradation of products.
3) Remote Reefer Control:
IoT systems on a very basic level also provide some degree of automation capabilities. The same is the case for cargo monitoring too.
The main purpose of a reefer is to create a suitable environment for the products it carries. However, if the reefer contains moisture, water, or condensation; then under the influence of cool air, it can result in the formation of molds, manifestation of bacteria, and degradation of the pallets. Moreover, if the gate of reefer is opened carelessly, then the ambient air from outside after coming in contact with the cool air of the container can form condensation quickly which can further affect the quality of the products. Therefore, the driver cannot be asked to handle such a situation. However, you can manage such an issue yourself.
If you detect the presence of moisture or condensation in the reefer, then you can remotely activate the evaporator attached with the cooling engine to remove unwanted constituents from the storage area. Since, the use of the evaporator consumes energy and further decreases the cooling capacity of the reefer, you can yourself manage its use to make sure that your customer receives fresh items in undamaged packaging.
4) Reduced Supervision Costs:
The biggest non-functional benefit of using a cargo monitoring solution is the reduction in supervision costs. Since all the monitoring and tracking of cargo is done digitally with the help of IoT sensors and devices, the need to hire cargo handling experts reduces exponentially. Due to real-time alert systems, the operation of monitoring cargo is simplified even further. Furthermore, the use of analytical and cognitive capabilities further helps you to evaluate this data and use the gathered information to identify inefficiencies in your processes. Hence, you can intelligently make proactive decisions to streamline your operation by removing these inefficiencies.
All these aspects lead up to reducing manual cargo supervision expenses and allowing you to use your workforce for productive work. Moreover, since manual interference is reduced, the chance of cargo damage is also decreased resulting in better delivery operations.
IoT powered cargo monitoring solutions are the need of the hour for logistics businesses as it allows them to increase the quality of their supply chain. The applications of this solution empower these companies to mitigate track the location and condition of the cargo being shipped from any place in the world.
These IoT solutions can also be amalgamated with blockchain technology to create smart contracts for truckers as well as the sending and receiving parties of the cargo to ensure the digital exchange of information and fulfilling of every term and condition of cargo transportation.