Nine Benefits of the IoT in the Logistics and Transportation Industry

By Sanjeev Verma

Fleet owners and other companies can use the Internet of Things to remotely manage vehicles and garner benefits related to telematics, cognition and advanced analytics.


With breakthrough developments in information and connection technologies, a growing number of vehicles are now becoming a part of a shared and connected vehicular network. The biggest contribution in creating this vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connection, however, has been made by the disruptive technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT). Such technologies not only create a connection between vehicles but also facilitate the development of a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network that connects vehicles with infrastructures, pedestrians and vehicle-management systems.

The Internet of Things, with its inter-vehicular networks and ground-breaking services, has stupendously benefited the logistics, transportation and shipping sectors. Along with other technologies, such as cloud computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence, the IoT’s potential is now being realized for these industry verticals. The blending of such technologies can help fleet owners and other companies remotely manage their vehicles and garner benefits related to telematics, cognition and advanced analytics. Below are some currently prevalent IoT trends that are  revamping fleet-management operations in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Telematics for Fleet Management
Telematics encompasses the use of information technologies to transmit computerized information across long distances. In a logistics business, telematics can be used to collect data from sensors installed in trucks in order to monitor vehicle performance, driver behavior and other parameters that may affect cargo delivery. By processing and analyzing this data via predictive analytics and other mediums, businesses can prepare more efficient maintenance schedules in order to maintain the quality of fleet vehicles. This results in increased fuel efficiency, less wear and tear of vehicles, and decreased emission rates.

Global Visibility for Delivery Management
Shipping and transportation businesses can extend to a global scale, with trucks, ships and other fleet vehicles conveying cargo across international boundaries. These businesses can garner the benefits of IoT technologies to efficiently coordinate drivers, dispatchers and call centers around the world. Moreover, companies can manage routes and loads that their vehicles carry from remote locations in real time. This reduces the risks of piracy, theft and cargo damage, including vandalism of cold chain refrigeration.

Increased Customer Satisfaction
For logistics and fleet-handling businesses, it is of the utmost importance to deliver products to customers before the estimated time of arrival. The IoT makes it feasible for companies to use  sensors to track their assets in transit, and to deliver detailed updates to their customers regarding delivery dates. The global scalability of IoT solutions allows businesses to ensure timely shipments and a high customer-satisfaction rate.

Meeting Regulatory Compliance
In the United States and in European countries, truck drivers are required to record, maintain and retain their activities according to the standards and regulations set by transportation authorities. IoT sensors embedded in trucks enable businesses to track parameters essential for maintaining regulatory compliance, and to transmit them directly to authorities in real time.

User-based Insurance and Recovering Stolen Vehicles
When an accident occurs, insurance providers need to know the parameters and variables involved. IoT-based data can be used by insurance companies to offer policies with rates based on driver behavior, usage and other variables. Insurance companies in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy are already providing user-based insurance. This provides users with discounts and benefits based on their driving habits. Additionally, developments in the IoT sector can be used to track and recover stolen vehicles, and tracking systems can be utilized by police and other concerned authorities to recover a vehicle in the event of a theft.

Defining Future Market Relationships
New commercial vehicles are now pre-embedded with factory-installed telematics systems. Original equipment manufacturers of these automobiles, as well as IoT service providers and logistics or transportation businesses, are required to collaborate with each other and develop vehicular-connected services. This can be accomplished either by building in-house IoT competencies or by using external services offered by IoT solution providers.

Using End Data for More Benefits
The data garnered from end users and devices brings undeniable benefits for any business. With this information, a company can make changes in its processes in order to provide users with better services. IoT solutions can collect data from end devices installed in the trucks of different logistic companies. This can help businesses to determine trends and patterns and thus develop useful insights and make informed decisions. Subsequently, logistics companies can utilize the information to establish prominent ownership while collaborating with OEMs and exchange information for elevated benefits.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
In the transportation sector, the benefits of network communications are now being explored. The IoT allows vehicles to communicate with each other and to automatically adjust their speed and the distance between them. This reduces traffic congestion on roads and helps truckers ship cargo smoothly, while reducing fuel consumption and emission rates.

Autonomous Driving for Increased Safety
Automobile companies are now integrating commercial vehicles with sensors, cameras and other network-based devices that present breakthrough video-based solutions. Such systems can be extended to advanced driver-assisted technologies that take partial control of a vehicle during driving or parking. This automation can help trucks to function automatically and prevent fatal accidents on roads.

The Internet of Things, combined with other technologies, offers the logistics and transportation sectors numerous benefits that companies can use to advance their fleet-management and cargo-delivery operations. However, the full potential of the IoT is still being explored. Vehicle OEMs and other businesses must collaborate in order to develop systems that can streamline required processes. Until then, it is imperative for companies to depend on IoT service providers that offer software-as-a-service-based IoT solutions.

Sanjeev Verma is the founder and CEO of  Biz4Group, based out of Orlando, Fla. He conceptualized the idea of the Biz4 brand and founded Biz4Group and Biz4Intellia. Sanjeev has more than 20 years of experience in boosting IT-based startups to success. In the past, he has worked on leadership positions with Marriott Vacations, Disney, MasterCard, State Farm and Oracle. Under his leadership, Biz4Group develops, implements and monitors digital solutions ranging from IoT solutions and products, mobile and Web development, and digital marketing to full-stack development and CMS solutions.