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.
#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 on the trailers or containers monitors any unauthorized motion/vibration or unauthorized door open. 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.
#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.