IOT in logistics
IOT in the logistics industry – Ready to deploy wireless solutions for warehouse optimization, cargo tracking, monitoring, and location tracking using a mix of technologies that enable supply chain visibility.
However, as this sector is complex because of its numerous actors (producers-platforms-carriers, etc.), some being in the semi and informal sectors, it is not always easy for logistics companies to know where to start: Internet of things? Artificial intelligence? Drop-shipping? Digital Twin, etc.
In this article, we focus on intelligent connected objects and the positive impact they can have on the supply chain logistics industries globally using the internet of things. Optimizing the flow of high-value goods, asset tracking, anti-theft equipment, discover how Logistics 4.0 platforms and solutions transform logistics supply chain industries through examples of digitalization
Ripples-FMS Critical Analysis
Our Solution for the logistics industry
Logistics Software Toolkit
Measurable success to the Ripples-FMS solution
The concept and rise of digital twins can create value in logistics. The technology, which involves using digital models to better understand and manage physical assets is already well established in some industries and has the potential to significantly change logistics operations.
Digital Twin in Logistics
Creating digital twins of shipping containers can provide logistics companies new visibility into their asset operations. Digital twin enabled containers continuously record its location, monitor thefts in the form of closing or opening of the container, abnormal deviations in vibrations, slope, position, and sound. Employing 3D photographic technologies helps to identify container conditions or damages such as cracks and dents. As the following step, these data could be combined with historical data on the container’s movement to create a Digital twin that supports the decisions about when this container should be used, repaired, or retired. In the case of cold storage containers, environmental monitoring sensors capture parameters such as temperature, humidity, air pollution that should be kept optimal for goods requiring standard climatic conditions. Furthermore monitoring your whole container fleet using digital twin potentially helps operations managers to make data-driven decisions about fleet sizing and empty repositioning.
There is a whole lot of equipment and machines employed for each process in the logistics supply chain. It is important that the machine’s applicability and capacity to work have to be checked before it is introduced to a work environment. In case of a malfunction or break of equipment, huge losses can incur in the form of cost and time. Even Though certain companies employ testing and pre-installation trials, it takes a lot of effort and cost in this activity. This can be completely overcome using digital twins by capturing equipment utilization and performance data. Analyzing the data through virtual platforms helps to recognize the potential problems that could occur in machine functioning. Also, decisions based on end-of-life equipment can be easily traced and new ones can be deployed.
Real-Time monitoring of the transportation process allows for defects to be detected earlier and asset downtime to be significantly reduced. Digital replica of a transport unit helps to easily monitor vehicles and identify potential defects without manual inspection. Driver behavior can be analyzed and rated based on various parameters such as overspeeding, sharp acceleration or stopping, off-road driving, driving on a cold or overheated engine, sharp & dangerous maneuvers. Weight monitoring twin allows logistics companies to optimize the transport load. It determines how much weight can be carried in trucks/carriers without posing risks and underperformance. Moreover, the technology is able to simulate the operation of transport assets in various scenarios and environmental conditions.
Monitoring fuel efficiencies of trucks is much important for logistics companies as fuel is a major expense factor within the balance sheets. Moreover, companies specialized in fuel transportation across regions should closely monitor incidents affecting fuel carrying tanks. Digital twin in logistics enabled fuel tracking systems to track fuel theft and contamination, fuel leakage and spills, tank temperature monitoring, fuel reconciliation errors, and alert management in case of abnormalities. Tire thefts during logistics transportation is another major concern faced. Digital twin enabled sensors to alert the concerned whenever there is an attempt to replace the tires and thus eliminate loss of assets and money.
Packaging within logistics is important to ensure the safety of goods moving through the supply chain. Digital twin helps logistic companies to invent suitable cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging materials according to goods type. By using digital twins of the materials, companies can model each material’s behaviour underweight capacities, different temperatures, vibrations, and shock loads experienced in transit. Monitoring the thermal insulation and shock-absorbing characteristics of the packaging, companies can experiment with different conditions on the digital model that enable shippers to gain new insights into the conditions of each shipment and thus optimize them.
Using digital twin technology, virtual layout models of warehouses and facilities can be created that help to improve the ways warehouses are managed. The technology supports the design and layout of new facilities, allowing companies to optimize space utilization. Sensor-based technologies help to simulate the movement of products, personnel, material handling equipment. This can aid the identification and elimination of waste in warehouse operations, from congestion in busy aisles to low productivity or picking errors by personnel
Deploying Digital Twin in Warehouse management
Warehouse digital twin enables monitoring the real-time functions in the warehouse process like loading and unloading, safety inspections, inventory and dispatch across various efficiency parameters. It monitors dock door utilization, duration of goods storage in loading/ sorting areas, presence of staff required for a particular activity and alert on goods not to be kept together. Applying digital twin in inventory management track the items with its zone and location of storage, alerts on the items need to move as together and even provide customer visibility on their goods in storage across various tracking parameters. The simulation models also provide insights including transportation and production lead times, demand per product, condition of storage bins identify empty spaces that need to be occupied to prevent revenue loss.
Within a warehouse, timely availability of both personal and equipment is a core deciding factor in measuring the warehouse efficiency. Digital enabled warehouses can inform live site access monitoring – tracing the designated workforce and materials like bins & forklifts stick to the assigned zones. In case there is a breach in assigned areas or entry to controlled areas with restricted access management is alerted over notifications.
Environmental conditions within a warehouse need to be strictly monitored as any kind of deterioration of warehouse climatic conditions affects the quality of goods stored. Warehouse digital twin software help to mirror the environmental conditions inside a warehouse monitoring parameters like temperature, humidity, pressure and indoor air quality. The same kind of monitoring is especially applicable to cold storage warehouse zones where any kind of climatic deviations can result in spoilage of stuff stored
Apart from this, the real-time operational data that improves operational team performance is very important. The info helps in various associated processes like deciding on the production schedules, identifying free slots for rental, coordinating the dispatch process with reduced truck wait times etc.
The benefits with digital twins will be improved outcomes and powerful new business models.
Contact our digital twin logistics experts to discuss how digital twin IOT platform can be effectively applied to your organization.
The concept of Digital Twin in logistics refers to a digital replica of potential and actual physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems, and devices that can be used for various purposes (Wiki source) in the supply chain.
Digital twin platform – IOT in warehouse management
The advent of low cost wireless mesh infrastructure, the scope for connected devices, and machines is huge and it is said that half of the new businesses in this decade will be run by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)
Imagine an interactive map – a replica of your warehouse of logistics yard shown on a dashboard available to you. Realtime access to the movement of forklifts, trucks, cargo, inventory, workers. Monitoring of storage environment, inspection, compliance, maintenance, and anti-theft protection technology.
In the case of warehouse logistics automation industries, there are many assets such as warehouse space, fleet, cargo (pallet, container, parcel, bins, oil tankers) – perishable and nonperishable – high and low-value goods, life saving vaccines, food items such as fish, meat, wines, cheese, etc.. Raw materials being sent to factories, finished goods transported to distribution warehouses and retail stores.
Bonded warehouses will benefit by implementing IOT in warehouse management, so that exporter and importers will have full transparency and visibility of high-value cargo.
Implementing a Digital Twin in your warehousing & logistics business can help to provide value-added services to your customers who are in the distribution and manufacturing industries, besides optimizing operations, improving workplace safety & productivity. Thus raising the bar of business performance and competitive advantage.
Movement of high-value cargo happening in the warehousing industry – from ports to logistics yards through multi-modal transportation – Ships, containers, multi-axle trucks, small trucks, and carrier vans for last-mile delivery.
The concept of “Digital Twin”
For all these activities to happen smoothly, there is a need to map the physical location and transportation environment of cargo onto a digital twin – cloud-hosted software. So that 100% visibility and real-time monitoring are possible. Cargo, people, transportation equipment, workplace safety matters, compliance, inventory, e-commerce dispatches.
Digital twin smart warehouse platform brings the desired visibility to your customer, whereby that can plan their factory production or distribution activities based on accurate measurement of delivery timings provided by the logistics software. This can be achieved using IOT enabled inventory and asset tracking tags that can be deployed in indoor and outdoor units.
Digital twin in warehousing brings accountability on the way the cargo is being transported – Are they subject to undue shock, excess temperature, or other parameters that would have a negative impact on the shelf life of the product.
The location of trucks, driver behavior, fuel consumption, tire mileage, etc contribute to reducing the cost of operations and maintenance.
Ideally, a Digital Twin ready solution would give the logistics company as well as their customers a 360-degree view of inventory, geographic location, timings, storage place & environment. IOT powered warehouse optimization solutions are also being implemented vastly these days.
Reduction of theft, abuse, lower consignment claims, and longevity of capital equipment, ane warehouse optimization will be the key benefit of implementing a Digital Twin solution. All these enablements will result in lowering the cost of transportation, empowering the customer on using self-services.
Digital twin logistics in supply chain
Elastic logistics in the supply chain is an agile model where the ‘pull’ of consignee demand sets up lead times for deliveries and replenishment in a distribution or manufacturing environment. The idea is to react quickly before or just after the demand or supply need arises. Companies want fast go-to-market distribution with clear tracking and tracing for all moving trucks and raw materials. They want to reduce turnaround times, move more truck shipments, close down lead times, and serve the consignee faster.
Information can be delivered as alerts, notifications, daily or weekly snapshots, or analytics reports in the logistics software
Call us to know more about IOT in warehouse management and logistics optimization.
Managing a warehouse has always been challenging, and trends in logistics management continue to make it harder every day especially in the current uncertain times. Adopting new normal warehouse management practices and solutions help keep products flowing efficiently through the system, which is a critical factor in serving customers and securing increasing operating margins.
Warehouse automation solutions
Inaccurate inventory counts and poor inventory control is the most common issue facing warehouse managers. Over the period, these errors can accumulate, leaving puzzling gaps in the inventory. Inventory location problems generally develop over time, as new products are added to the inventory and tracking of goods become difficult. Inability to integrate your current warehouse management system with logistic and supply chain partners leads to manual tasks and redundancies that cost time and money and leads to inaccuracies. Suboptimal picking happens most often due to process inefficiencies in receiving or put-away tasks. Inappropriate warehouse billing systems fail to incorporate demurrage charges and track customer payments.
Warehouse Management System efficiencies.
Adopting an efficient Warehouse management system like Ripples WMS helps warehouse managers to implement industry best practices and adopt process automation within their warehouse. Moreover, Ripples-FMS warehouse suite accompanies smart solutions for inventory tracking, condition and climatic monitoring, production planning and real-time customer communication mechanisms for enhanced process efficiency and customer experience.
Ripples WMS – Features & Benefits
End to end warehouse order mapping
WMS system tracks complete warehouse order processing details like cargo type, fleet selection, container management, warehouse storage and invoicing. Relevant documents such as POD and shipping documents can be managed online.
Warehouse zone allocation
Automatically allocates storage locations based on the characteristics of the goods to be stored. This allows the warehouse staff to know where the items will be stored and help in easy pick and packing. Indoor positioning module with bluetooth tags attached to crates and pallets can improve efficiency.
Warehouse Inventory management, tracking & control
Ripples WMS accurately records and monitor the inventory stored avoiding human errors. Inventory movements can be effectively tracked along with condition and environment monitoring of cargo that avoids misplacement /theft and damage to goods.
Cargo transportation management
Trip creation feature enables to create trips directly from the stock management screen. Own truck and customer-owned truck transportation details can be effectively managed and the WMS can be easily integrated with the Ripples freight management system.
Accurate warehouse management & Invoicing
Automatically calculate the invoice details per order with complete accuracy based on the defined warehouse invoicing parameters. Demurrage and additional warehouse charges can be effectively captured avoiding any kind of financial loss.
Real-time customer communications
Offer a Ripples-FMS self-service portal for your customers to monitor their cargo in real-time with regards to goods location, physical and climatic conditions and tracking goods in transit. Customers can submit online orders, upload logistics documents and monitor their invoices online that bring more visibility and transparency in your operations.
A successfully managed warehouse, one that performs reliably and efficiently, is a huge asset to any freight forwarding company. Our warehouse specialists also offer warehouse consultation services to help logistic warehouses adapt to new normal and to adopt industry best solutions and standards.
Contact our experts to know more on Ripples-FMS Warehouse Management Systems…
Operator – Hello, Good morning from Smart logistics LLC, Cape Town, South Africa. How can I help you?
Prospect – I need to book 2500 sq.mtr of your cold chain, temperature-controlled smart warehouse facility for a week. We need to see the storage space & want to monitor the white wines we export regularly to Europe. If found suitable, we will take on lease, the warehouse space on a long-term basis. We also need to remotely monitor the inventory, track workers, shipments, temperature & possible damages due to poor cargo handling methods.
Our customer in Europe insists on traceability of the shipments and the final invoice payment is adjusted for damages or delays in case of deviation from any of the predefined conditions in supply chain digitisation & visibility.
Helpdesk – Welcome. You can visit our smart warehouse anytime between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. Monday through Saturday. The storage area can be dedicated for your special purpose and using our customer portal, we will configure with a user name and password so that all warehouse tracking parameters, including arrival, stay, despatch time and environmental parameters can be regularly monitored remotely in a secure manner.
Smart warehouse for the new normal
The customer logs into to the Digital twin logistics platform to select an eCommerce option, The available 2500 sq.mtr zones in the smart warehouse are listed under temperature-controlled, fragile, food and consumable section.
The customer selects a temperature-controlled zone with a constant environment reading, the rental duration of 1 week, add-ons like air quality, humidity, ambient light & temperature monitoring along with the 10-minute frequency of reporting & individual wine carton tracking options into the warehouse eCommerce cart. Makes online payment – Selects drop off time for the cargo and the service level agreements
During the drop off of the premium organic white wine, the truck driver is able to download the order specifications. A docket contains the required tracking tags and the layout map of the booked temperature-controlled zone is made available at the front gate. The tags are attached to the 10 cartons and stacked in the designated zone. The job has been done, thanks to smart warehouse automation solutions for the new normal.
Farm monitoring & eCommerce
Login access is given to the grape farm which manufactured the premium wine. The end customer, a premium restaurant that is based in Amsterdam gets a WhatsApp link alert, using which they are able to track the location and storage conditions of what they ordered.
Welcome to the warehouses of the future. Ripples-FMS enabled smart logistics and warehouse platform provides robust and innovative solutions such as logistics eCommerce, smart warehouses, customer portal, farm to fork monitoring to meet the expectations of the new era. to stay relevant in this disruptive logistics business.
Ripples R&D team collaborates with leading names such as Omron, Avnet, and Dell EMC to build these intelligent logistics management solutions.
Call us to know more about digitally enabled smart warehouse automation solutions
eCommerce logistics the next disruption in the African Logistics Industry. In Africa, 40 percent of annual growth in e-commerce activity is predicted over the next decade. African logistics companies have started digitization with automation in picking, packing, and sorting operations, smart warehouses, farm to fork monitoring, etc
COVID & Digitization across Africa
The level of digitization in Africa has generally been quite slow. But the COVID19 pandemic is accelerating trends such as digitization and local manufacturing. Due to curfews and lockdowns in order to enforce physical distancing in warehouses, consumers are now engaging with businesses through online channels, onsite delivery, and store pickup are automated to ensure customer safety, with increased adoption by older generations. COVID19 has moved digitization in logistics from a niche market into mass adoption.
Smart warehouses & eCommerce – the next disruption in logistics
COVID & Digitization across South Africa
The level of digitization in Africa has generally been quite slow. But the COVID19 crisis is accelerating trends such as digitization and local manufacturing. Due to curfews and lockdowns in order to enforce physical distancing, consumers are now engaging with businesses through online channels, with increased adoption by older generations.
COVID19 has moved digitization from a niche market into mass adoption. The transportation, freight forwarding & warehousing industry has the third-highest automation potential of any sector. The reasons for digital technology adoption by logistics companies could be due to the following factors.
● A growing shortage of labor in the logistics sector
● The explosion in demand from online retailers
● Technology advances in the logistics industry
There is a huge expansion of giants like Amazon, JD.com in logistics, and warehouse space even expanding to remote areas in line with the ongoing disruption. They threaten to shunt traditional logistics companies toward low-margin services, which may not justify an investment in automation.
Many logistics technologies like advanced robotics, smart sensor applications, analytics in transport, and smart warehouses, logistics platform, eCommerce logistics are available but the adoption by companies depends on proving ROI for the investment.
Call us for a free online consultation to know more about our affordable offerings for digital transformation in logistics.
Outdoor cargo movement & tracking
2G / 4G Enabled sensor devices for cargo monitoring & tracking
If you’re in the logistics & transportation or import & export business, you know that preparation is crucial for success. The internet age is reshaping the way the transport industry functions; which is a good thing because the industry can benefit from new technology, better efficiency, and transparency. Cargo shipping companies have embraced the technology of the internet of things, whether it is air or sea freight, warehousing, or delivery. Specific applications and 3G / 4G sensor devices are available that enable real-time tracking of the goods being transported, optimization of warehouse capacity, maintenance of assets like vehicles, optimization of routes, better last-mile delivery, and a whole lot more. A full-fledged customer portal is also available for cargo tracking and document handling purposes
Logistics providers who move goods by land, air or sea need quick, real-time information to make decisions that will help them in the timely and safe delivery of their cargo. The use of the IOT platform for logistics is very valuable now, because of its ability to provide precise information, enhanced customer service, information sharing, location tracking and so on.
The customer portal module of Ripples-FMS integrates wireless sensor devices for warehouse monitoring and truck cargo tracking. This helps improve the visibility aspects of supply chain logistics.
3G / 4G tracking in Logistics
Thanks to the IOT platform software in logistics, those providing these services are seeing a plethora of opportunities being opened up for them. The embedded sensors, connected devices, and analytics capability of the software to provide visibility to operators like never before. This is in every process – from operations to finance, and is allowing them to have new sources of value creation.
With greater visibility, cargo shipping operators will be able to leverage the vast database to make quick, efficient decisions that will help them improve their services and provide much more efficient service to their customers.
It must be understood, however, that transport companies who are looking to include the IOT in logistics are likely to face tactical and technical challenges. Organizations will first need to visualize what business problems of theirs and of their customers, IOT applications can resolve. The vision also needs to address the implications of IoT for the strategic position of the company and the ecosystem relationships.
For this, organizations will first need to understand how the internet of things creates value; basically, IoT is all about creating value to the customer – communicating, combining, analyzing, and using information from actual objects ( in this case, transported goods, vehicles) through other objects ( sensors). Hence, the value created by IoT depends on the flow of such information through this system, so they need to ensure that the info flows seamlessly.
Logistics is basically about moving stuff from Place A to Place B, C or D. The chief service elements of transport and logistics are: the things that move, or goods, and things that do the moving – warehouses, vehicles, and the transport network (air, sea, road etc.) Obviously, the value creation depends on the capacity, effectiveness, dependability, manageability and the cost at which the organization can provide the services of warehousing and transporting.
When you as a cargo shipper are able to provide timely, safe, reliable and efficient service to your customer, it is when you provide value. As of now, IoT based tracking solutions help transport and logistics providers do just that, and even improve on these services. Internet age logistics applications can also help monitor the environment, detect threats, trace the location and condition of the products in transit and so on, improving customer service like never before.
Logistics customer portal for self-service
Thus, by increasing visibility substantially, enabling customer self-service and decreasing network complexity, companies are able to provide much better service, cut costs, minimize damage and loss, and eventually increase revenues.
What will the coming years bring – More facilities or challenges? Let’s wait and watch. As of now, there is no doubt the internet of things is completely revolutionizing the cargo shipping industry with the help of Bluetooth sensors, Cellular IOT, and logistics customer portal.
Freight logistics portal
Offering state of the art freight logistics management services to customers is imperative for logistics companies to maintain competitive advantage and maintain operational efficiencies to meet the demanding needs of their customers in the manufacturing and distribution industries. Our freight logistics portal can allow users to connect all their operations including yard management and logistics inventory under one roof.
In transit, theft can be reduced to a great extent by deploying our innovative warehouse and cargo monitoring solutions. Our wireless sensor-enabled logistics management system can help medium and large-sized transport companies and logistics operators save millions through improved utilization of warehouse space, better tracking of cargo dispatch, loading, and transit.
Implementing logistics portal & smart warehouses that track and monitor cargo movement and storage will enhance the competitive advantage of firms in the business of logistics management. The completely wireless solutions are easy to deploy and low on maintenance.
Freight logistics portal solutions
The Industrial internet of things (IOT) integrated cargo tracking & anti-theft solution with data analytics module, real-time data interface, and the smart rule engine will help improve supply chain visibility by enabling complete information into the condition, inventory status, and location of cargo inside warehouses and on every connected vehicle. Use our logistics portal software for new insights delivered through the customer logistics portal
- Say goodbye to repeated work using excel files in logistics operations
- Sends alerts on consignment and truck arrival/departure, automatic check-in and check-out at warehouses and yards
- Collects & analyzes data on the condition & location of cargo, machines & trucks to ensure performance
- Provides 24/7 support enabled with a data logging platform and sensor integration using remote connectivity tools
- Shares information on the environment of storage, delivery schedule, parking, traffic with the partners and suppliers
- Logistics yard monitoring – Arrivals, departure, workforce, driver tracking.
- Workflow and productivity monitoring in logistics yard
- Tracking the utilisation of racks in warehouses
- Pallet and bin monitoring with the layout map
- Linking the data with customer production and procurement cycles