The Internet of Things (IoT) is often portrayed as something that’s still over the horizon, but its effects are already here. Look no further than the domains of transportation and logistics, which have for years been beset by problems such as late deliveries, high fuel costs and overall lack of visibility. Innovations in the IoT, such as fleet management solutions for connected freight, offer a new way forward.
Building a better supply chain with mobile logistics
First, a few numbers reveal the fundamental weaknesses of today’s supply chains:
- Fuel accounts for more than one-third of average marginal costs per mile for goods moved via truck, making fuel spend management essential to gaining a competitive advantage.
- Feeling the pressure from online competitors, retailers and grocers have upped the penalty for late warehouse deliveries to more than $500 per order in some cases.
- Over 40 percent of shoppers will leave a store if what they want is out of stock, showing the stakes for knowing where supply chain assets are and when to expect them.
Mobile logistics through the IoT address these problems on multiple fronts. The Oracle IoT Fleet Monitoring Cloud shows the possibilities in greater detail, as it provides:
Real-time visibility and reporting
Fuel consumption varies significantly by route, vehicle performance and driver behavior. Connected freight solutions collect real-time visibility into all three. This reporting can support decisions about geofencing – i.e., putting certain inefficient routes off-limits – and preventive maintenance schedules to ensure fewer breakdowns as well as higher fuel efficiency.
Supply chain management integration
Today’s customers pay close attention to lead times and delivery estimates. To make sure an organization can consistently meet expectations, the Fleet Monitoring Cloud can be plugged into other applications like the Logistics Cloud. This interconnectivity sheds light on the locations of specific vehicles and their associated lead times. It also helps in tabulating the TCO for shipments and identifying areas for savings.
Logistics services for drivers
Staying in touch with drivers is a crucial workflow within logistics management, and one made much easier with IoT solutions. Fleet managers can take readings from embedded sensors in the truck – which might collect information on anything from current temperature to average idling time) – and communicate important updates to drivers through dedicated messaging apps.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile logistics; look for a follow-up post soon. In the meantime, be sure to visit our resource center or contact us with any questions.