How IoT Is Empowering Transportation Industry

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 26, 2015

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The Internet of Things spans across many industries and transportation and logistics is no exception. With increased communication and data collection abilities such as GPS, cloud computing, machine-to-machine (M2M), and cell phone triangulation/mobile devices, more data is available. The sector is increasingly using smart devices to capture and share data to enable greater visibility and understanding of what is occurring all around us.

A recent Forrester study, commissioned by Zebra Technologies reveal that 96 percent of surveyed transportation and logistics (T&L) companies agree that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most strategic technological initiative their organization will undertake this decade.

The survey further shows that 90 percent of T&L companies either have or plan to deploy some kind of IoT solutions within a year.

The study released with the objective to understand IoT adoption interviewed business decision makers from nearly 600 global firms More than half of respondents expect IoT to improve regulatory compliance (51 percent) and delivery processes (51 percent). More than four in ten expect IoT to help their companies improve safety (45 percent), recognize cost efficiencies (44 percent) or improve their supply chain visibility (44 percent).

Wi-Fi, security sensors, near field communications (NFC) and real-time locating systems were cited as the most important technologies for enabling IoT implementations. The study found, nearly 40 percent of respondents listed privacy and security concerns as the largest challenge for IoT implementations, while 38 percent mentioned implementation complexity.

 An earlier Forrester Research ran a study into perceptions of IoT, which revealed that over 50% of senior business executives were planning to implement an IoT solution this year. It is especially relevant for supply chain activities, who can derive massive untapped value from knowledge within devices

Cisco studies also reveal that 99.4% of physical objects in the world are still unconnected and this represents a massive business opportunity. It believes that the knowledge created by connecting objects and allowing them to communicate with each other could generate ‘value’ in the region of £10 trillion (from higher revenues and lower costs) over the next decade. And around a third of this activity is expected within the supply chain sector where visibility, tracking and data capture are essential to operational effectiveness.

Immediately this sparks significant considerations for the logistics and transportation industries. At the moment, the courier industry tends to do a lot of activitity manually, using barcodes scanned to track the whereabouts of parcels and consignments. This approach requires a high level of manual intervention and is prone to errors and this will change in the coming years.

“In the coming years, more and more IoT solutions provide operational and actionable data on the location and condition of tracked objects which will help improve the customer experience, create new revenue streams, enable competitive differentiation and promote workforce collaboration,” states Jim Hilton, senior director, Global Manufacturing Principal, Zebra Technologies.

 Going ahead more companies in the transport and logistics sector will use IoT and mobile solutions to empower their workforces and gain intelligence and visibility into their assets, believe experts.