The advantages of the Internet of Things have made this technology an indispensable element in Logistics 4 and technological advances have brought about countless changes in all sectors and industries, making it possible to optimize processes, improve business efficiency and connect objects, people and places in real time. This is the case of the IoT or Internet of Things.
This technology is based on the RFID (radio frequency identification) system, which is based on the use of smart tags that transmit information about objects through radio waves. In this sense, IoT technology can be understood as a kind of network or interconnection between physical objects that communicate their status to a software or information management system.
In the logistics sector, IoT goes further: it seeks to automate and control in real time all processes, updating the status of products at any point in the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution and delivery to the end customer.
Where to implement IoT in Logistics
The possibilities offered by the use of the Internet of Things in the logistics sector are wide-ranging and applicable to different phases and elements.
Supply chainTotal visibility and real tracking. The Internet of Things favors total control of the entire logistics process, since it allows monitoring facilities, vehicles, routes, deliveries and, in short, any stage of the supply chain. This traceability facilitates the identification and prevention of possible errors, as data from all areas is collected and centralized, improving business efficiency.
IntralogisticsWarehouse management. The possibility of locating products in real time within the supply and warehouse facilities is one of the great contributions of IoT to intralogistics. This favors greater control over the internal flow of goods, speeds up their entry and exit from warehouses and facilitates the work of operators in picking and stock management tasks. It also reduces losses or poor storage of goods, detecting anomalies and faults, which helps to save time and improve productivity.
Product informationSmart tags provide real-time location and status of goods, both in the warehouse and during delivery. Ultimately, IoT is about objects "talking" and indicating how they are doing. It is not only possible to know their physical location, but also whether they are in good condition, their quality, whether they have suffered some kind of damage or malfunction, whether they have expired because they have been stored for too long, and so on. In this way, incidents and mishaps can be avoided.
Transportation: tracking and routing. The Internet of Things offers full traceability. Data relating to the fleet of vehicles can be known at all times: their location, whether they are in transit or stopped, whether they are continuing the predetermined route or have deviated from the established route, their consumption, etc. In addition, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are designed to facilitate the work of drivers through technologies that automate tasks such as toll payment, detection of vehicle emergencies, identification of available parking spaces, etc.
Last mile and customer serviceIn this phase of the supply chain, two essential factors come into play: route planning and tracking, and communication with the customer. Thanks to IoT, it is possible to know information about the routes, detect traffic jams, accidents or unforeseen events in real time that can delay delivery and affect the efficiency of last mile. Thus, the user can also know at all times where his order is, any delays he may have suffered or the approximate time of delivery. In this way, a direct and personalized communication with the customer is maintained.
Advantages of using IoT in Logistics
The use of smart tags and IoT technology in the logistics sector is likely to bring a number of benefits to those companies that manage to integrate them correctly into their supply chains.
They highlight 6 key advantages of using IoT in Logistics:
- Increase operational efficiency by saving time and reducing costs.
- Improve information management thanks to its centralization, facilitating the handling of large amounts of data.
- Anticipate potential problems thanks to a total vision of the supply chain. Knowing the status of processes at all times facilitates preventive decision making, in less time and in the right way.
- Increase worker safety and ensure regulatory compliance.
- Avoid theft thanks to total control of the chain. It is possible to know in real time who and how orders are being handled.
- Improve the user experience by providing real-time information on the status of their order and improving delivery processes. In addition, you can achieve direct communication with the customer and provide immediate response to potential problems that may arise.
In short, the Internet of Things has great benefits in the logistics sector, helping to increase performance, efficiency and productivity. Companies that integrate this technology into their actions and processes will be one step closer to success.
Consultant in Logistics and Supply Chain Technologies