For several years now, IoT (Internet of Things) technology has been increasingly known and applied in different fields thanks to its increasingly reliable and complete technology. Undoubtedly, among the industrial sectors in which the use of IoT technologies is trending, the logistics sector stands out due to the growth it has experienced in recent years and the needs it entails.
It is well known that all logistics operations require rigorous monitoring and agility to run efficiently, from supply chain management to last mile distribution. For this, one of the most popular solutions is IoT and digitization of certain operations in the logistics department.
In this case, in which logistics operations is IoT technology used specifically? If you want to find out how IoT and AI are used in logistics, read on:
It is one of the best known tools where both AI technology and IoT are used. It consists of using previously collected data to forecast future results and, to do so, it organizes the data obtained, preprocesses them and develops predictive models so that the results can be validated later.
The advantages of applying predictive analytics to the logistics sector are varied. Some of its most frequent uses are:
- Demand forecasting: We analyze the sales history together with the market and estimate the sales that would be generated on the products.
- Supply chain planning and optimization: Thanks to a prior analysis of the demand, the right quantity and timing of the production of the goods can be calculated.
- Inventory optimization: Demand estimates help in making decisions about optimal stock levels for each type of inventory.
- Improved resource management and savings: By applying current data taking into account constraints and other characteristics, it is possible to optimize resources and reduce operating costs.
In general, predictive analytics act as a guide for decision making and to give us a more accurate estimate of future activities. In this way, a clear view of the current and future situation of the supply chain and company is obtained.
Real-time shipment tracking
The most important and essential thing that customers ask for today is transparency in reporting the status of the order in real time to ensure that it arrives at its destination at the agreed time without incident. Today it is possible to receive all the data thanks to geolocation algorithms received by sensors via wireless networks.
The advantages of order tracking focus on estimating delivery times and detecting and solving problems. For example, if an order is not going to arrive on time or has been lost due to a wrong address or accident, the incident can be solved as soon as possible or an alternative can be offered to the customer.
IOT and Blockchain
One of the rising trends in the logistics and transportation sector is the use of Blockchain technology in the supply chain. And this is because, together with IoT and AI, a digital bill of lading (BOL) can be created that provides traceability of products along the entire supply chain.
The combination of Blockchain and IoT can bring many advantages to any sector that distributes products, especially when it comes to quality items such as wine. For example, with BOL, a smart contract can be created to know the origin of the product and its path to the end customer. You can also apply GPS trackers that can calculate temperature, humidity, among other things to ensure compliance with the contract.
It should be noted that Blockchain technology allows stored data to be more secure because they are decentralized, have irreversible transactions and are highly encrypted. For these reasons, the probability of being stolen or suffering cyber-attacks is reduced.
Route optimization and fleet planning
One of the most important aspects of route planning is traffic patterns, i.e., the flow of traffic on certain roads and other public roads. AI, thanks to its learning capabilities, can study such patterns to detect peak traffic hours, maintenance works, among other features. IoT devices can also add more information by tracking and collecting data for future analysis and better planning.
It should be noted that the main objective of a route optimization solution is to save fuel, other related resources and costs. However, greater efficiency in the distribution of goods translates into a more satisfactory and competitive service, especially in the case of last-mile distribution.
Safety of personnel and property
Safety within logistics operations can be improved through IoT or AI solutions. On the one hand, predictive maintenance can be performed on trucks and other machines using IoT devices to detect potential problems and prevent accidents. On the other hand, cameras and other AI-enabled systems can detect suspicious movements of potential thieves in warehouses and alert those responsible, while IoT-enabled sensors can automatically lock connected doors.
It is worth mentioning that the estimated useful life of a truck is approximately 10 years, however the average age of trucks circulating in Europe is 14.2 years and in Spain the average is slightly higher at 14.3 years. Therefore, predictive maintenance of vehicles not only prevents breakdowns, but is also very useful to carry out good practices and extend the useful life of the fleet.
It is clear that AI and IoT technologies are often merged for the technological advances needed by the logistics and transportation sector to meet the current needs of the industry. Such as meeting increased demand, bringing order transparency to customers or cost reduction in the face of an uncertain situation.
At Hedyla our software relies on AI to analyze common routes, traffic patterns and other characteristics to generate various planned route models and choose the most optimized result that fits the customer's needs.
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