The Internet of Things and Logistics

May 5, 2016 by Terese Kerrigan
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects, in this case vehicles and pallets, that are embedded with electronics that collect and exchange data. And, a lot of buzz is going around about the IoT and how it will impact shipping for businesses globally in the coming years.

So what does this mean for logistics and specifically supply chain management?

Incorporating the IoT network with a supply chain will drastically change how supply chain leaders will gather and access information.

These devices will connect people with their supply chain management (SCM) creating a more visible and intelligent system. Cloud based GPS is crucial to providing clear in-transit visibility during the lifecycle of shipping a product. Radio frequency identification (RFID) combined with GPS will provide detailed information to supply chain leaders, such as time of arrival, locations and conditions of the product. All of this real-time data can be combined with environmental factors, like the weather, to help give supply chain managers a more informed and intelligent decision when it comes to how and when they ship their goods. All of this data will help the supply chain process become more proactive by being able to deal with any given situation before that situation occurs.

While the IoT doesn’t have a major presence in SCM right now, it is beginning to grow and become a useful tool that will impact logistics in a great way.

Supply chain managers should look into integrating IoT technology as soon as possible.

The more IoT that is involved in SCM the smarter it will become which will ultimately save time and money during the shipping process; which, isn’t that what we all want? I know my answer is yes.

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