The logistics and supply chain sector is not an exception to the modern era when seamless connectivity and real-time information have become crucial in every part of our lives. A new age of efficiency, transparency, and control in the shipping and logistics industries have been ushered in by the integration of advanced shipment tracking and monitoring technologies with the power of sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Learn more about this technology’s revolutionary effects by investigating its features, advantages, and potential to influence future trade practices.


Monitoring Technologies



Shipment Tracking Technology Development

The days of relying on assumptions and making numerous phone calls to customer service to track a shipment’s status are long gone. Modern technologies like GPS, RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification), IoT sensors, and related applications have totally changed the logistics scene.

And innovations still go on. Shipping will become even more precise as a result of the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Additionally, by combining blockchain technology with IoT, it is possible to produce an unchangeable record of a shipment’s path, improving traceability and confidence. By 2030, 40% of warehouse employment is expected to be robotic (Tarqan).

Some great tools are used already nowadays. Great examples are load planning softwares like EasyCargo 3D. You enter the dimensions of your cargo into EasyCargo and it will automatically load the container of your choosing with the cargo items you specify. Following this, step-by-step instructions become available, in the most effective manner. Software like this can save up to 10% of a truck’s capacity compared to manual planning which can reduce costs and save time.


IoT Sensors

The term “Internet of Things,” or IoT, refers to a network of physically connected “things” that are equipped with sensors, software, and other technologies to gather and share data over the Internet. A vital part of this network is an IoT sensor.

It is a tool that recognizes alterations in the physical environment and transforms those alterations into quantifiable data. The analysis, processing, and decision-making processes for this data are then communicated to other devices or systems. Depending on the kind of data they’re intended to gather, IoT sensors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Typical IoT sensor types collect data about temperature, humidity, motion, pressure, light, gas, acceleration, or proximity.

For example, Nestlé Purina PetCare, the pet food and pet care products division of Nestlé, uses IoT sensor technology to track the movement, temperature, and humidity of its pet food shipments to ensure quality and safety standards.


Real-time Transparency and Visibility

The level of real-time visibility that modern cargo tracking and monitoring technologies offer is one of its main benefits. Thanks to the use of IoT sensors, businesses can follow the location, itineraries, and even the environmental conditions of their shipments in real time. This degree of openness not only improves customer happiness but also gives companies the ability to foresee and mitigate any supply chain problems thus reducing delays and guaranteeing on-time deliveries.


Better Data Gathering

The ecosystem for enhanced tracking and monitoring depends heavily on IoT devices. These discreet and clever gadgets may be included in packages to gather a variety of information. The Internet of Things network then transmits this data, giving stakeholders access to real-time updates.

For shipments of higher value and sensitive goods, IoT sensors with monitoring the environment capabilities give an extra degree of security. When thresholds are crossed such as the detection of varying temperatures, humidity, or other factors, they can send out alarms. IoT technology also improves security by spotting illegal access and tampering thus preserving the integrity of goods all the way to their destination.

For instance, IoT sensors ensure that sensitive pharmaceuticals are carried within the acceptable temperature range in the pharmaceutical sector, which helps maintain their efficacy.

One of the best examples of the utilization of IoT sensors is DHL, a leading logistics company. To ensure that sensitive pharmaceuticals are carried within the acceptable temperature range, DHL has started placing IoT sensors within containers to regularly check the temperature.


Informed Decisions

Real-time tracking is only one aspect of the data that IoT devices gather. Through specific applications, it is also used to produce useful insights. These programs make use of the gathered data to offer analytics, forecasts, and suggestions. For example, using previously gathered data and outside variables, predictive analytics may estimate potential delays, allowing companies to proactively modify their supply chain plans.


Theft Avoidance

In the logistics sector, theft is still a major worry because expensive cargo might be stolen while en route or while being held in a warehouse. According to Verisk Analytics – CargoNet report, cargo theft rose by 20% in the United States and Canada in 2022. The most often stolen goods are beverages and food products, followed by electronics. In 2022, the entire loss amount was $223 million.

IoT sensors provide continuous position monitoring with real-time tracking capabilities, allowing logistics managers to spot any unlawful detours from the planned path or unanticipated detours. Moreover, if cargo enters or leaves certain geographic zones, IoT sensors using geofencing technology can send out notifications. Due to this increased visibility, logistics organizations are better equipped to address any security issues as soon as they arise, which helps to prevent theft and expedite the recovery of stolen items.

Environmental Sustainability

The logistics and supply chain industry is making tremendous gains toward lowering its carbon footprint and implementing more eco-friendly practices at a time when environmental sustainability has become a global priority. IoT-enabled logistics is at the vanguard of this revolution, offering solutions that not only improve operational efficiency but also serve a greener, more sustainable future. This transformation is powered by improved shipment tracking and monitoring technologies.

Using improved route planning is one of the main ways IoT technology is helping the environment. Traditional logistics frequently resulted in inefficient routes, which increased emissions and fuel usage. Logistics service providers now have access to the most recent information on traffic, weather, and road closures thanks to the integration of IoT sensors and real-time tracking. This makes it possible for them to adjust their itineraries on the go and select the fastest routes to cut down on travel time and fuel consumption. Because less fuel is used, there are fewer carbon emissions, which directly contributes to protecting the environment.

John Carpenter | Published 19 Sep 2023