IoT and Logistics: The Future is Today

IoT and Logistics: The Future is Today

Solutions 4.0 for a Complete Digitization of Logistics Processes

The introduction of the IoT (Acronym for the Internet of the Things) in the logistics sector has allowed companies to have strongly innovative solutions that are literally digitizing the processes for the benefit of greater efficiency and traceability never seen before.

We’re talking more and more now about Logistics 4.0, which, in effect, represents the future of the sector and allows you to make a true digital transformation.

The IoT applied to logistics lets you obtain solutions capable of offering integration and connection not only within the warehouse but along the entire supply chain.

The interconnection between the different digital logistics solutions therefore offers a complete integration between the warehouse areas and the supply chain nodes.

Logistics 4.0: Definition and Advantages

In the world of logistics, as well as in general in the world of manufacturing, a global phenomenon is underway that is generating gigantic change.

This is the Industry 4.0 revolution, a transformation that is increasingly moving towards a complete digitization of business processes.

Solutions 4.0 are based on innovative technologies that allow you to make complex decisions in a very rapid world. Applied to the field of logistics we’re talking about Logistics 4.0.

Logistics 4.0 is the application of technologies related to Industry 4.0 to the supply chain world. Logistics 4.0, as such, allows you to obtain new storage, handling and transport systems where you can integrate and optimize the following 3 factors:

1) physical automation
2) connection
3) Decision-making process.

The advantages for the logistics sector are really huge. Let's think, for example, of an integrated communication amongst machines, information systems and objects.

An automatic communication between these three factors can guarantee better planning and management of freight reception activities and storage, thanks to an "automated" dialogue between factories and warehouses.

But not only, we’re thinking of the great advantages for the preparation of orders and shipments thanks to the interconnection between warehouses located in various locations and means of transport.

From the "2018 Research of the Contract Logistics Gino Marchet" Observatory, it emerged that the main benefits made by logistics solutions 4.0 have generated an improvement in the following areas:

  • Productivity (48%);
  • Visibility (37%);
  • Traceability (27%);
  • Security (23%);

Ricerca 2018 dell’Osservatorio Contract Logistics Gino Marchet

Product Connection in Logistics

Product Connection in Logistics

The IoT revolution has rendered it possible to create scenery changes in which we start to transition from systems with objects not connected to solutions with smart objects.

In the first scenario when the objects and products were not connected, the data was acquired in manual or at the maximum mode through the reading of the barcode.

Today, thanks to IoT, these objects “become speakers", where, in a world of highly connected products, it is possible to detect and store data thanks to a sensor system and RFID tag.

In the logistics sector this technology does not simply therefore allow "communication from objects" alone but also makes a "communication between resources" possible. In this latest scenario, handling systems, storage and transport can then send and receive structured information.

A concrete example of using IoT technology via RFID tag applied to logistics can be seen in the movement of goods on trolleys. By using RFID readers on trolleys, the automatic reading of large packages is made possible.

IoT and Logistics: Blockchain for Supply Chain Management

The only way for companies to hold their own against increasing market competition is to satisfy customer expectations and satisfy their needs.

There is, in this way, a shift of attention moving from the product to the customer that requires innovative technologies to be able to remain in step with the times.

A digitalization of processes is therefore necessary to address the new challenges that the logistics sector must face in this modern age. A concrete example is the ever-increasing need to resort to a blockchain system for supply chain management.

A blockchain is a system that integrates a set of technologies in which the register is structured as a chain of blocks. In practice it is a system that is based on a distributed log that can be read and modified by multiple nodes of a network. It is a data structure destined to grow over the years but at the same time it is immutable, as the content cannot be modified, without invalidating the entire structure.

Supply chain management in the modern scenario requires increasingly high security protocols, and for this reason using blockchain technology can make a difference for efficient logistics.

Thanks to this technology companies can have a digital database to monitor real-time transactions and the handling of goods. Process optimization based on this innovative technology combined with other technologies such as IoT really allows companies to go towards an effective renovation of their business model.

Blockchain technology therefore integrates IoT solutions in meeting specific supply chain requirements, such as integrity and transparency of the supply chain, as well as traceability.