Internet of Logistics: How IoT is shaping multimodal logistics

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Karthipriya S

Risks, delays, operational bottlenecks – these are some of the dreaded, yet common scenarios faced in the logistics industry. When it comes to multimodal logistics, the complexities are even more chaotic and operating in silos can be disastrous. The involvement of multiple business partners, transportation modes and an enormous amount of data exchange have put multimodal in a tight spot. In the era of rising customer expectations, digitization and visibility are the two cornerstones of a well-oiled supply chain.

Internet of Things has been around for a while, finding its applications across multiple industries. With the coming of Logistics 4.0 or Internet of Logistics, IoT plays a significant role in connecting the various stakeholders to create an information hub that is focused on improving operational efficiency and customer experience.

The power of data

When it comes to the logistics industry, being agile is one of the most critical components. Without an accurate perspective of what’s happening on the field, businesses cannot succeed at mitigating risks. Using IoT devices, the logistics industry is harnessing real-time data to anticipate delays, potential bottlenecks and foresee any disruption that can derail the operations and result in losses both in terms of revenue and reputation.

Through connected logistics achieved by IoT, businesses can gather real-time data into everything from shipment temperature, location tracking, and equipment condition. The multimodal ecosystem thrives when the transfers are meticulously planned. This includes anticipating the shipment at the dock, arranging the over-the-road transport for pickups and document handling. With the implementation of IoT, businesses can gain end-to-end visibility and access all the information from a single platform. Additionally, it becomes easier to share the information and shipment statuses between the parties so that all the processes are synchronized.

Today, the temperature sensors are changing the way the cold chain industry operates. The perishable and pharmaceutical industry always faced the costly repercussions of wasted produce due to the temperature difference. With such sensors in place, businesses can receive real-time temperature updates and prevent any spoilage.

Another application of IoT is using asset monitoring devices to assess the equipment condition and prevent any potential breakdown. Transportation delays due to vehicle downtime can cause ripples across your operations and lead to dissatisfied customers and expensive penalties. With diagnostics data, businesses can avoid any disruptions and ensure on-time deliveries.

The Internet of Things is an exciting phase for the supply chain and logistics industry. With logistics giants leading the way to a new era of logistics, the rest need to keep up or find themselves struggling to survive in this hugely competitive landscape.