The Internet of Things, also known as “IoT”, at face value doesn’t appear to give much context as to what that means exactly. In its simplest form, the Internet of Things is an idea that you can connect any device to the Internet. Your everyday appliances such as your microwave, lamp, coffee machines would be able to access the Internet. You may ask yourself why does something like my microwave need to have the ability to connect to the Internet, it works fine just fine the way they are. The potential for IoT is essentially limitless as most objects nowadays can have sensors and software installed into the devices allowing objects to connect to the Internet. Imagine if our traffic lights had the ability to see traffic coming in advance and be able to streamline transportation more easily via a network that can allow signals to communicate with each other to make our roads more efficient. Imagine IoT in your everyday life, your alarm wakes you up and as you prepare your morning routine, your car will have a message transmitted to it to start 5 minutes before you typically leave for work without you ever having to so much as touch your keys.
The Internet of Things Set to Revolutionize Transportation and Supply Chain Logistics in the Next Decade
IoT has the ability to transform the way transportation is operates. With the new Electronic Logging Devices being required as of December 2017 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all commercial transport vehicles are required to have an Electronic Logging Device installed. An ELD is a cloud-based monitoring system that can keep track of many aspects of a truck’s journey. Flatbed shipping companies will be able to provide more transparency to their shippers through ELD devices, making it easier for them to track and trace loads and coordinate shipments. According to a 2015 DHL and Cisco Internet of Things Report, IoT in logistics will generate revenues up to $1.9 trillion in value over the next decade. Supply chain and logistics are one of the most prevalent fields that IoT is expected to impact. Technology will be able to analyze climates and weather conditions to see if it is safe for a driver to continue or if they should take a different route. This will benefit flatbed heavy haulers in particular who must take additional precautions when transporting such valuable commodities. IoT is expected to make an impact in the supply chain through warehouse optimization. With technology being able to provide updates to drivers on loading or unloading times on the fly, or how long they can expect to wait, and coordinate all these tasks through automation
Flatbed shipping quotes can be more precise as data could be aggregated in specific lanes on the fly and communicated to technology when calculating rates for specific lanes, providing shippers with the most accurate reflection of rates. Drivers can also experience more benefits by making their return trips more streamlined. They can maximize their time on the road as efficiently as possible by identifying the best loads for them using data. This automation can help drive rates down for shippers while maximizing profits for carriers. The world is becoming a far more data driven environment and IoT is certain to make a splash, particularly with respect to flatbed transportation companies.