The magic of IoT in transportation for the truck {industry}

The magic of logistics

As customers, after we order one thing in a retailer or on-line store, we count on the supply chain to do magic. We wish the product to be delivered if not already immediately newest tomorrow. Moreover, we wish to know exactly when will probably be delivered or have the ability to re-route it if our plans change.

If firms order provides for manufacturing, the supplies or merchandise ought to arrive just-in-time (JIT) and just-in-sequence (JIS) to optimize manufacturing flows. As well as, we count on the fabric or merchandise to be safe and undamaged throughout transport (we could even count on documentation of situations throughout transport, e.g., if merchandise want to remain at a sure temperature stage). In fact, we would like the deliveries to be carbon impartial.

Organizing logistics flows based mostly on these excessive expectations is extraordinarily advanced and infrequently underestimated. It could require consultants in elements of the logistics chain and collaboration between completely different payers. A variety of incidents starting from accidents and visitors jams to surprising climate situations and theft require a fast and agile response. And all of it with minimal operational prices.

A surprisingly massive variety of truck transport firms nonetheless work primarily with cellphone calls, even paper, pen, and eraser. It’s type of exhausting to do magic underneath such situations.

However there’s a solution to do (perceived) magic on this {industry}, and it comes with three major elements, described properly by Jan Höller at Ericsson Analysis.[1]

  1. International connectivity, as seamless as doable 
  2. Embedded sensors in all parts of the provision chain, from warehouses to automobiles, in addition to in items to be delivered 
  3. Synthetic Intelligence (AI) and Machine Studying (ML) based mostly programs to grasp what’s occurring, optimize flows in keeping with key efficiency parameters, together with minimizing the environmental impression, and responding to challenges if issues go flawed someplace 

And I might add the packaging of the above into superior digital companies, as delivered by {industry} gamers resembling ZF. 

Nonetheless, from the angle of a lot of the over 1 million highway transport firms immediately, a lot of the above could sound like visions of the long run whereas they have to wrestle with every day challenges.

Daily challenges of a truck transport company


The every day challenges of a truck transport firm

Between 2021 and 2022, diesel prices elevated to a staggering 42%. [2] Think about the industrial impression on a truck transport firm. The driving force scarcity is at present a serious subject. A good friend of mine operating a small truck transport firm in Germany lately instructed me that he may at present simply triple his enterprise. However he can’t as a result of he doesn’t have sufficient drivers, and each order counts for a small firm like this one. Unplanned truck downtime because of technical failures is one other every day problem that appears to be unavoidable. The every day value tag for a truck out of operation may be as much as 760 USD. [3] More and more strict rules require truck transport firms adjust to varied guidelines starting from driving hours to gas tax reporting. Such rules usually have a great goal, however they create extra operational challenges. 

On prime, we see disruptive stress from firms getting into the market based mostly on new enterprise fashions resembling crowd-sourced supply companies or tech giants leveraging their digital capabilities to construct tightly built-in end-to-end logistics chains. 

There’s expertise out there to handle lots of the above challenges immediately, and IoT in transportation and logistics enabled by mobile IoT connectivity is one reply. Nonetheless, the hurdles are slightly associated to easy methods to implement issues and safe the corresponding enterprise case. One of the simplest ways to reply these questions is to check how market leaders on this phase are doing issues, and that’s what we now have performed. 

The enterprise worth of IoT use circumstances in logistics

ZF is a worldwide expertise firm supplying programs for passenger vehicles, industrial automobiles and industrial expertise, enabling the subsequent era of mobility. With its Transics portfolio, ZF is among the largest fleet telematic resolution suppliers connecting over 200,000 automobiles with over 1,600 fleet prospects in 23 nations.

Two of crucial IoT use circumstances behind ZFs’ in depth vary of digital companies for the transport {industry} are IoT-enabled truck and trailer monitoring and truck driver help. Whereas the features of those two use circumstances are already implicitly defined within the naming, the industrial impacts should not that apparent. In partnership with ZF’s Transics product group in Belgium, we now have subsequently quantified the enterprise advantages and got here to the next insights:

For a mid-size European truck firm working a fleet of fifty vehicles and with annual income of roughly 15 MEUR, the deployment of truck and trailer monitoring can have a enterprise potential within the vary of 600 kEUR. That is as a result of discount of prices associated to downtime and unplanned repairs, but additionally insurance coverage value reductions and others. Truck driver help can add one other 260 kEUR based mostly on decreasing administrative prices, gas value financial savings, and others. This provides as much as 860 kEUR yearly, which is a extremely related cost-saving for an organization of this dimension in such a extremely aggressive {industry} phase. These are simply two of many use circumstances; the general enterprise profit potential of introducing IoT in transportation and logistics with mobile connectivity enabled IoT use circumstances is, in reality, considerably larger. And truck driver help will improve the attractiveness of the office within the ongoing fierce competitors for drivers as properly. 

The detailed enterprise worth evaluation of the above may be present in our Linked Truck Transport report carried out in collaboration with ZF, Orange Belgium and Arthur D. Little.

Some reflections and conclusions

It’s a “no-brainer” that strong, resilient, and environment friendly provide chains are important for us, however it’s typically value it to recollect what it takes to get there. Nonetheless, guaranteeing that our provide chains are or grow to be much more strong, resilient, and environment friendly shouldn’t be a “no-brainer.” The challenges are huge, and digitalization is (as in any {industry}) the important thing to success. Nonetheless, the digital transformation on this {industry} continues to be at a really early stage in comparison with its full potential, and IoT in transportation and logistics can play an important position.  By implementing IoT, it reduces gas and insurance coverage prices and automates administrative work resembling filling in stories and time-tracking. 

The digital future in transport and logistics will evolve in the direction of digital fashions of logistics flows, digital twins of transported items and transporting automobiles. This consists of on-demand warehouses, autonomous automobiles, digital platforms enabling the collaboration between all of the specialists inside the ecosystem of the logistics {industry}, predictive and self-healing logistic chains, and extra. [4], [5] 

A lot of that’s imaginative and prescient, however lots of the speedy, urgent ache factors in transport and logistics may be addressed by means of mobile connectivity enabled IoT use circumstances resembling truck and trailer monitoring, truck driver help, and others. And if performed in a strategic slightly than “ad-hoc” method, this additionally lays the muse for the long run absolutely digitalized provide chain logistics. A few of the cornerstones of a extra strategic strategy to this are a constant digital course of design, ecosystem considering, choosing well-established, extremely standardized, and open applied sciences, and guaranteeing scalability in all layers of the answer structure. The latter wants to incorporate a scalable resolution to handle mobile connectivity for vehicles, trailers, and items in real-time and across the globe, which is usually taken with no consideration however under no circumstances trivial within the extremely fragmented mobile connectivity market. 


  1. Logistic challenges and the impression of a pandemic 
  2. YCharts. US Retail Diesel Worth 
  3. Menzies, Frank. “Coping with Downtime.” Truck Information. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2022
  4. The way forward for logistics is predictive. Right here’s how. 
  5. Pre-emptive logistics – the highway forward 

Learn extra within the Linked Truck Transport report

Next Post

Cisco and Ford CEOs to Talk about the Function of Expertise in Remodeling the Automotive Business and How Folks Use Their Automobiles

Thu Jun 23 , 2022
Information abstract  Watch Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and President and CEO of Ford Motor Firm Jim Farley chat through the Cisco Stay keynote. Keynote begins at 8:30 am Pacific June 14th. Cisco Stay attendees may also see a Ford Mustang Mach-E outfitted with Cisco know-how on the present flooring. LAS […]