IoT Shipment Tracking and Cargo Monitoring - How does it work?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming prevalent within many different industries, and a new area of growth is being seen, especially in transportation.

According to the IDC, the transportation industry has now become the second-largest segment investing in IoT with an approximate spend of $78 billion since 2016. One of the key areas where this investment has been used is fleet management and logistics and more recently in shipping companies.

The ability to track shipments by vehicle may be fine if you’re a fleet owner. But if you’re a shipping company like FedEx or UPS, keeping track of individual packages is essential. IoT-enabled tracking in logistics and shipping companies allow companies to receive real-time information not only on their trailers and containers, but also on the parcels inside, allowing them to make more informed decisions.

Below we outline the 3 different ways logistics and shipping companies can track and monitor their parcels and the different benefits:

#1- Fleet tracking on the truck and vehicle level.

For fleet companies, the vehicle is the primary focus. Information about a truck’s location, maintenance and fuel consumption is critical to efficient fleet management.

Many fleet companies use vehicle tracking systems equipped with GPS telematics tracking devices and fleet management software to monitor the whereabouts of every truck in the fleet.

Adding an HOS Elog app for the ELD mandate will provide a fleet management solution that is compliant with the ELD mandate.

ELD HOS GPS fleet management

 

#2- Asset tracking on the trailer or container level.

Companies that ship merchandise rather than merely transport it may want the ability to monitor a shipment at the container or trailer level. This can be achieved by attaching a wireless, battery powered GPS telematics device on the containers.

Trailers or containers are left at job sites or docking ports unattended for days at a time, making them a better target and at the highest risk for cargo theft.

Attaching a telematics device to the trailer or container provides visibility to that asset and provides instant visibility to any unauthorized motion/vibration or unauthorized activity. Here too, IOT sensors for temperature , motion can be added to monitor the temperature inside, you will have visibility on the entire trailer but on the trailer level. 

gps tracking device for trailer

 

#3- Tracking on the parcel/package level.

Those companies that want the ability to track shipments at the parcel level need a hybrid tracking solution that leverages GPS, GSM, WIFI and Bluetooth IOT asset tags.

Attaching IoT asset tags to each parcel or package will provide the visibility and control on the parcel level. You will be able to see when a package was pickup and dropped off in the container, its last location and its date and time.

The IOT asset tags can not work alone and need a gateway. The gateway comes in the form of telematics device. The telematics device can be either mounted on the trailer or container or, it can be wired to the truck.

Going with the second option will provide the all around holistic tracking solution and visibility for every point of the shipping cycle – being able to see the trucks GPS location, adding ELD and fleet dashcams to the truck to monitor driving abilities and view video recordings, all the way monitoring the individual parcels and even the temperature inside the container for temperature sensitive shipments.

Companies such as Wireless Links provide solutions for your every need. To learn more about the various options that are available, visit the IOT asset tags page. If you’d like to talk over specific scenarios and recommendations, reach out to the IoT experts by filling out the form below.

How IoT connectivity helps solve fleet management challenges?

Improved Real-Time Tracking and Visibility

IoT sensors embedded in cargo containers provide real-time data on location, temperature, humidity, and more. Fleet managers can monitor the entire shipment process remotely, ensuring better control and visibility over their assets.

With today’s IoT technology, logistic companies are able to track and monitor every piece of equipment and bring it online for a complete real time view over their entire operations. 

Predictive Maintenance

IoT-enabled devices can monitor the health of vehicles and equipment in real-time. By collecting data on engine performance, tire pressure, and other critical parameters, predictive maintenance schedules can be established, reducing unexpected breakdowns and optimizing fleet operations.

Enhanced Route Optimization

With IoT-powered analytics, fleet managers can leverage data to optimize routes in real-time. Factors such as traffic congestion, weather conditions, and road closures can be dynamically factored in, allowing for efficient route planning and fuel consumption reduction.

Benefits of IoT connectivity for fleet management

Temperature Control For Temperature Sensitive Goods

Real-time monitoring of temperature and humidity ensures that perishable goods are stored within the specified temperature range throughout transit, mitigating the risk of spoilage. A driver connected system allows the driver to take action as soon as a temperature deviation is detected.

Geofence Alerts

GPS technology allows for geofence alerts to trigger if a shipment deviates from its intended route or enters restricted zones, enabling real-time corrective actions.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Comprehensive data analytics captured by IoT sensors aid in optimizing transportation routes and protocols, leading to cost savings and streamlined logistics operations

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