Shipping plays a key role in facilitating the movement of people, goods, and products from one location to another. It is estimated that about 95% of manufactured goods are transported in a container at some stage in the supply chain. Though it plays such a crucial role in the transportation and logistics ecosystem, the shipping process faces many challenges. Containers often get left behind, go missing, or get accidentally offloaded at the wrong port, resulting in unexpected delays and cost overruns.
Today, most shipments are tracked using a complex system that involves extensive paperwork and barcodes, which are scanned and data is uploaded into logistics management systems. Users don’t have up-to-date information about their shipments – the current system doesn’t provide real-time data on the location of a container, nor does it provide information on container status or its ETA. IoT-based shipment tracking addresses these challenges and can track your containers’ location and status at all times, and even provide real-time information about the storage and transport conditions. The logistics industry is the latest in a long line of sectors adopting IoT-based shipment tracking and here are some of the benefits.
How IoT Can Optimize Shipment Tracking
1. Optimize Shipping Routes
IoT-based shipment tracking solutions enable you to find the shortest and easiest route available to your destination, saving both time and fuel. You can monitor the shipments in real-time and guide them to their destination at the lowest time possible. Additionally, you can assign new routes on-the-go, and send real-time notifications to the relevant personnel about any changes in their route, destination, or ETA.
2. Improve Efficiencies
The use of IoT in shipment tracking allows you to remotely monitor the location, status, and condition of your shipments in real-time, providing full visibility into your shipping operations. This enables you to take immediate action and make faster decisions to facilitate timely delivery. Additionally, it reduces the need for cumbersome paperwork for everyone involved, allowing shipping companies to focus on more valuable tasks.
3. Shipment Safety
It’s critical to ensure the safety and security of your shipments, especially if they are high-value assets or sensitive substances that need regular monitoring. IoT-based shipment tracking allows you to remotely track and monitor your shipments at all times and provide real-time alerts and notifications when necessary. With the help of various IoT devices and sensors, you can not only track the location of your shipments but also measure the quantity being shipped and trace back the route in case any malicious activity is suspected.
4. Reduce Costs
The shipment data being collected can be stored, processed, and analyzed using advanced analytics software. Shipping companies can use this information to identify hidden patterns and generate useful insights related to resource and cost optimization. You can improve route planning, reduce fuel consumption, improve shipment security, track missing or stolen shipments, automate manual tasks, and improve process efficiencies.
5. Improve Customer Service
IoT-based shipment tracking ensures on-time delivery with timely updates to the users on shipment related information. You can keep your customers informed in case of unexpected delays or rescheduled shipments, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.