Long before the term Internet of Things (IoT) was ever introduced, the world of logistics had been looking for (and employing) new techniques for connecting services. From warehousing to delivering products, logistics innovators wanted to develop a system for connecting the chain of events, which begins with the production of an item and ends with the successful delivery. Tools like bar codes and RFID scanners helped with that endeavor, but the recent innovations in smart technology have given us even greater methods for tracking products.
Today, the IoT isn’t the only thing fueling the changes in logistics. The industry is also adopting the collection of analytics, cloud computing, and remote monitoring of temperature-sensitive packages in striving to provide greater quality in their services. Together, all of these technologies are helping companies to monitor products more accurately.
One way the logistics industry is evolving is by making use of cloud computing. Since cloud computing has advanced to incorporate the sharing of software applications, as well as documents and files, data can be shared in the cloud and on-site at any location. This enables more accurate tracking and better control over inventories, helping companies eliminate costly shortages.
When it comes to the actual hardware, there have been countless innovations in recent years that have helped warehouses and shipping services improve. In addition to routers, modems, and WiFi accessibility, many warehouses utilize the latest RFID technology and smart sensors to keep a tighter control on the contents of their warehouse. This helps eliminate inventory errors that lead to shipping shortages and last minute production changes.
Meanwhile, the shipping industry has evolved in great ways, as well, using bio-metric sensors to monitor packages. Devices are now used to make sure packages get to the right location and are picked up by an authorized recipient. Wireless communication is helping to ensure shipments reach their destinations on time. Additionally, plans are underway to utilize driverless trucks and planes to deliver some shipments.
The biggest changes are in developing IT services that can integrate the newer technologies with older systems. As we continue to introduce new technology, we’ll need to be able to apply those innovations to systems that may be in varying stages of development. That’s going to take talented IT experts with creative approaches to problem-solving.
The future of logistics will continue to evolve along with the Internet of Things. As online companies force logistics to compete with their personalized shipping services, the answer may lie in customizing the storage and delivery of products for each customer. Cloud computing and smart technology will open the door to new possibilities as the technology continues to evolve.