How much logistics visibility a company needs depends on the nature of its business. 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.
To help you better understand the specific tracking requirements of different customers—and how to address them—we’ve outlined 3 different scenarios:
Scenario #1 – Vehicle tracking in logistics
For fleet companies, the vehicle is the primary focus. Information about a truck’s location, acceleration, engine health and fuel consumption is critical to efficient fleet management.
Many fleet companies now use vehicle-tracking systems equipped with GPS or telematics tracking devices and fleet management software to monitor the whereabouts of every truck in the fleet as well as the shipments assigned to each vehicle.
The GPS tracking device, permanently wired to the vehicle, draws power from the vehicle’s batteries to report its location in real time and transmits this data through a GSM-based cellular network. IoT sensors wired to the GPS vehicle trackers provide a variety of other information about the vehicle, including fuel levels, driving patterns, ignition status and more. Being able to monitor and analyze this data gives fleet managers the ability to:
Scenario #2 – Container tracking
- Determine the shortest and fastest route for a vehicle.
- Eliminate vehicle idle time, reduce speeding and decrease fuel consumption.
- Detect if a vehicle is disabled on a highway and dispatch resources to assist it.
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, self-powered IoT device inside or outside containers.
If the device is placed outside the container, it’s used primarily to monitor any unauthorized attempts to open or tamper with the shipment. If it’s placed inside the container, it can also monitor the condition of the goods inside and the interior environment. Food, beverage and pharmaceutical products, in particular, are sensitive to and adversely affected by fluctuations in temperature, humidity and motion. The IoT sensors provide ongoing data to help shippers continually monitor environmental conditions like these and take any necessary measures to prevent damage or spoilage to the cargo.
Scenario #3 – Package tracking
Those companies that want the ability to track shipments at the parcel level need a hybrid tracking solution that leverages GPS, GSM, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and Wi-Fi technology. The beacons carry sensors to monitor temperature, pressure, humidity and shock inside the package. A gateway hotspot is used to monitor the container or trailer as well as the beacons and packages inside it. Tracking with this level of granularity provides the greatest visibility at every point in the shipping cycle—being able to detect everything from where a container’s hot spots or warm zones are
to which portion of the goods are damaged to whether or not an air duct in a trailer is broken.
Innovative companies like Roambee now offer solutions for all 3 scenarios, but it’s important to first determine a customer’s exact requirements and goals before recommending a particular tracking solution. To learn more about the various options that are available, visit Ingram Micro IoT Marketplace
. If you’d like to talk over specific scenarios and recommendations, reach out to the IoT experts at Ingram Micro firstname.lastname@example.org