Connected Logistics in Road Transport – 7 Benefits
Transportation logistics is a complex process requiring a lot of resources and coordination. Connected logistics can help reduce the cost and time of cargo transport and improve the efficiency of the process. The ultimate objective of connected logistics is to enhance the efficiency of transport operations by enabling more efficient routing, better utilization of assets, and improved customer service. Besides road freight transportation, connected logistics is used for all other modes of transport (sea, air, and rail freight transportation) and storage facilities (warehouses).
In this section, we will explore how connected logistics in cargo transportation is implemented and what positive effects it potentially brings to road freight businesses.
What is connected logistics?
Connected logistics is the use of digital technologies to collect, store, share and analyze data to improve supply chain efficiency and customer experience. The connected logistics system is a fully digital and automated supply chain that uses data from sensors and other devices to coordinate, optimize, and enhance supply networks. To give a comprehensive perspective of all events in real time, this system should ideally connect all participants in a supply chain, including producers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, customers, and other stakeholders.
The connected logistics systems can be used in many ways:
- In road transportation, connected vehicles are equipped with sensors that gather information on driver behavior, temperature inside refrigerated trailers, and fuel use. This data is sent to a centralized system, where it is processed to detect patterns. The conclusions of the analysis can be applied to increase the efficiency of the fleet.
- In maritime transport, connected containers are equipped with sensors that monitor location, temperature and humidity levels of goods being shipped around the world. This information is transmitted to a central system where it’s analyzed for patterns like how long goods have been in transit or how often they’ve been opened for inspection by customs officials.
- Because the supply chain for rail transport is more intricate and has more potential failure points than those for other modes of transportation, logistics are a little bit more challenging with this method of transport. There is a lot more possibility for delays when transporting commodities by train because it necessitates greater coordination between various rail network components. To avoid disruptions, connected logistics can be used in a number of railway transport areas, including cargo tracking, train maintenance, and remote monitoring.
- In the manufacturing industry, sensors are installed in connected industrial facilities to track the efficiency of the machinery, the amount of energy used, and the waste levels of raw materials. This data is sent to a centralized system, where it is evaluated for patterns to find areas for efficiency improvement.
Benefits of connected logistics in road transportation
The degree of transparency and clarity required during the various supply chain processes is not present in traditional logistical cycles. The flaws result from the fact that ongoing transportation and delivery procedures are handled by obsolete logistical workflows that rely on historical data. As a result, there are significant variations between the estimates for matters like fuel costs, route options, and other key factors. The ultimate goal of transport companies is to get the right goods at the right location at the right time in the best condition with the least amount of human interference. Therefore, in the near future, road transportation will be heavily dependent on connected logistics due to the numerous advantages it offers.
1. Enhanced information flow during transportation and delivery
Using connected logistics, businesses may schedule large orders and shipments months in advance. In connected logistics, setbacks resulting from outdated information are almost nonexistent. Businesses and organizations can avoid delivery delays due to the enhanced information generation and real-time updates. Additionally, the precise structure of the data ensures that companies do not underestimate or overestimate the capacity of trucks for certain batches of goods.
2. Improving fleet performance
The effectiveness of a company’s fleet in terms of cost-effectiveness, fuel efficiency, and customer satisfaction is measured by fleet performance. Through connected logistics, there are various approaches to enhance fleet performance, including the use of telematics, predictive analytics, and data analysis. Fleets may track the condition of their vehicles and determine when repairs or assistance are necessary using telematics and predictive analytics. Utilizing data analysis enables businesses to reduce expenses by optimizing routes and scheduling. IoT-powered devices have a positive impact on the process by identifying possible problems with the delivery routes, weather, and other numerous factors that could lead to significant disruptions.
3. Enhancing efficiency and productivity
Businesses may increase truck transport productivity and efficiency by using connected logistics. The managers save a lot of time by examining data that has already been compiled due to communications technology that collects, combines, and analyzes massive data sets, greatly boosting productivity. Software can quickly identify the most efficient routes, and IoT in vehicles enables more accurate arrival time estimations, increasing overall efficiency and the number of deliveries that drivers can make altogether, thus raising a company’s income potential.
4. Better temperature tracking for cold storage goods
Cold chain storage is a crucial component of the supply chain in global trade. Food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and chemical products are all transported and stored in this way. In general, if not refrigerated continuously during their transportation and storage, foods and chemicals deteriorate or expire. The cold storage carrier can accommodate a temperature measuring equipment. This temperature-assessing device may update transportation managers and supervisors in regulatory organizations with real-time information through the IoT. The installed sensor continues to provide information on the temperature within the carrier while the items are in route. The transportation managers will be alerted if the mobile storage facility’s temperature drops. Such situations could lead to big issues being avoided.
5. Preventing breakdowns and unplanned downtime
With the use of connected logistics, delays can be properly predicted and prevented by taking proactive measures. Additionally, IoT technology in vehicles enables fleet maintenance specialists to remotely monitor vehicle failures, respond rapidly to prospective breakdowns, and resolve technical difficulties as they arise—or even before severe harm is done. Preventive maintenance, which tries to address issues before they arise rather than after they occur and have an impact on the service, is made possible by connected logistics. Repeating a series of checks is meant to spot breakdowns before they happen (measurement and evaluation).
6. Improving safety and lowering costs
Drivers and fleet managers can receive information about dangerous areas and weather conditions, traffic congestion, accidents, and other obstacles due to connected logistics. They can avoid particular areas and adjust their route planning accordingly. With the assistance of IoT, the dispatch center and the driver can communicate in real time, keep an eye on the vehicle’s condition, and be fully aware of their whereabouts in order to get at their destination on time if anything goes wrong.
7. Increasing customer satisfaction
Top-notch performance, on-time deliveries, decreased service failures and delays, and comprehensive visibility of shipment in real-time are guaranteed with the proper implementation of connected logistics. As a result, it saves time, increases service reliability, lowers operational costs, enhances transport safety and security, and ultimately raises customer satisfaction levels.
A new approach to transport systems called “connected logistics” is altering the way we view and employ logistics. It is a system that controls the movement of commodities around the globe by utilizing connection, information technology, and data. This mechanism has been established to increase productivity of the managerial team, improve efficiency and safety of the fleet and prevent breakdowns, enhance information flow among all involved parties, provide better control of the temperature in refrigerated reefers, and ultimately, increase customer satisfaction.