The Edge Factor - Apr 2016


Contributions by: Suresh Morya, Sahil Kapoor


Hype or Reality

Internet of Things (IoT) in Logistics: Hype or Reality?

IoT is driving the efficiency improvements in logistic sector and creating new business model.

Can anybody imagine that USD 1.9 trillion is the estimated value that can be gained by utilizing IoT in the supply chain and logistics? According to a joint study of DHL and CISCO, this enormous value could be achieved by improving operational efficiency and venturing into new services entirely based on IoT.  The benefits extend to the entire value chain including warehouse, transport and last mile delivery. It impacts the areas like operational efficiency, safety and customer experience. The proliferation of wireless technology, decreasing cost of sensors, rugged devices, and data analysis capability are creating a perfect ground for faster adoption of IoT.

However, we are only at the beginning of the IoT revolution. So far, only 15 billion devices are connected to the internet. By 2020, Cisco estimates that there will be more than 50 billion devices connected to the internet. PC, Smartphone, Tablet will represent only 17%, the other 83% will result from IoT, including wearable and smart-home-devices. Another study conducted by Forrester Research shows that enterprise IoT deployment has skyrocketed to 3.3X since 2012.

Port Private CloudFreight transport with hundreds of thousands of ocean, air and road assets, present great potential for IoT. The connected logistic market was USD 5.05 Billion in 2015 and expected to grow with 32.30% CAGR in next 5 year. Logistic companies are now using GPS-based device and RFID to track the fleets and providing data to increase visibility and efficient decision making. Agheera, a real-time tracking solution provider, has developed an open platform for connecting various telematics and sensor to consolidate data across different applications. The platform merges multiple assets with worldwide accessibility, allowing logistic providers and customers to track all assets and various devices at once.  Another such EU-backed research project started in 2012, sought to create an autonomous truck that can decide frequency and methods of maintenance. So far this system was found to increase vehicle uptime by 30% and reduced danger to the life of the driver.

Warehouse Fork TruckIoT has found multiple application in warehouses. With increasing size of warehouse and varieties of SKUs, it’s a challenge to receive, retrieve and deliver the good as fast as possible in 24X7 running environment. The companies are using IoT coupled with robotics, RFID, sensor, and WMS to utilize dark asset effectively. Amazon is the pioneer in the warehouse automation, and there are now 30,000 Kiva robots spread across 13 Amazon’s warehouses. One more innovative application of IoT in the warehouse called “SmartLIFT”, an indoor GPS system that provides direction to forklift driver for picking a pallet. This technology ensures safety and 10% efficiency improvement together.

In the past, we have witnessed some events of putting blind eyes to disruptive technology. Kodak management’s inability to see digital photography as a disruption, resulted in fall of an entire organization. IoT is considered to be the fourth industrial revolution; after the mechanical industrialization in the 18th century (seen as Industry 1.0) and the key for next level of operational improvement. Academicians claim that the present situation in the terms of Internet of things, is same as of 1876, during the first industrial revolution. Moor’s law is working, technology is getting affordable day by day. An early adopter will certainly get the competitive edge over the competitors. The signs are loud and clear. Pay attention, it’s not hype.


Something we found interesting

"Here is an interesting short video from MHP
on the future scenario logistics. How Internet
of Things is going to transform the entire
logistics in near future."

Watch this Video at:


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