Top IoT-related trends that drive innovation in the logistics space

The Internet of Things (IoT) has a major impact on the logistics industry, changing how people work and impacting everything from business models to safety practices. 

And it seems that companies are taking this as seriously as they should. So much so that 87% of supply chain leaders say they already use this technology or intend to do it in the next few years. 

IoT enables collaboration and real-time insights. For logistics managers, one of the most significant advantages is that it frees up time to focus on the activities that truly deliver value. 

However, IoT innovation is all about staying competitive and relevant. Logistics companies deal with frequent disruptions and increasingly complex challenges that are harder and harder to predict. Adopting new technologies is the key to delivering better services and safeguarding their future. 

Learn about the IoT-related trends that are at the top of the list. 

6 IoT Trends that drive innovation in logistics

Here are the most innovative developments in the logistics space, made possible by data collected through IoT devices:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

Handling inventory is a challenge. Excel and spreadsheets can only get you so far, especially for growing or larger companies. A promising development in the field of AI is demand forecasting, which allows you to plan all logistics activities, including:

  • Supply planning - supply chain unpredictability seems a given in a rapidly shifting world. AI tools help you analyse demand in real time and use this information to create a more effective supply chain process. For example, you can balance inventory levels with supply chain delays as AI uses data to show where these issues overlap. Most importantly, you’ll be able to anticipate issues and be proactive in fixing them
  • Avoid overstock and understock  - by analysing data (e.g. historical or product-related sales data), AI can help with demand/supply issues. Benefits include never running out of necessary stock and optimising storage space costs. This leads to increased customer satisfaction
  • Anticipate workforce needs - know when to hire personnel and even schedule shifts more efficiently.

This is just one example of what AI can and will do in the future. 

2. Digital twins

IoT enables digital twin technology, which allows you to make a virtual copy of your organisation, processes or products. This copy can be used to create simulations without implementing things first in the physical world. As a result, you can predict outcomes and prepare for many possible scenarios.

Take, for example, the addition of new robots to take over repetitive tasks in the warehouse. A digital twin can simulate what this would look like, how many devices you need, and possible risks. If you want to change your delivery process, it can show you how effective it could be before you make any decisions.

Additionally, digital twins can show you how to use resources more effectively and implement predictive maintenance. This can significantly reduce waste and improve your sustainability efforts.

More importantly, understanding potential consequences will make it easier to convince stakeholders to make significant changes in your day-to-day operations.

3. Augmented Reality (AR)

AR allows us to experience the world differently. This is also true in the workplace, as AR can revolutionise how warehouse employees relate to their environment. 

For example, they can use smart glasses or mobile devices to see information related to stock in real time. A visual overlay to work with barcodes or objects helps them work smarter and faster. 

Even better, they can see this information with data pulled from a warehouse management system (WMS), which enables them to locate items correctly. Moreover, they can use AR to do maintenance work, as having a visual overlay of designs and instructions will speed up the process. 

AR has also proven to be a great learning tool, as it can help simulate real-life situations and act as a safe training environment. The possibilities expand as the technology gets better. For example, the upcoming Apple Vision Pro uses spatial computing to create immersive experiences where any physical object can be used as a display canvas. It should not be long before it is used for training purposes, as well as enhancing productivity in the workplace. 

4. Smart Warehouse 

According to Gartner, 

By 2026, 75 %of large enterprises will have adopted some form of intralogistics smart robots in their warehouse operations.  

The smart warehouse is a technologically advanced environment that integrates cutting-edge technology, such as robotics, automation, analytics, cloud computing, etc. In this way, most warehouse operations are safer and more efficient. 

IoT sensors collect real-time data from the smart warehouse, making it an essential component. This allows you to see stock levels, maintenance information, location of goods and even detect errors.

A major part of a smart warehouse is robots, which can handle picking, packing and sorting inventory. Additionally, the precision and accuracy of analytics make inventory management a breeze from start to finish, so errors are minimised and customers are happier with their delivery. 

5. Blockchain

Blockchain integration with IoT solutions ensures the security of data collected through sensors. Why does this matter?

Supply chain transparency and traceability are important. Blockchain technology allows companies to use a digital ledger where multiple members can store, review and change information. In this way, there won’t be as many errors and missing data, which are costly and damaging to the companies’ reputation. 

This opens up many possibilities, especially for companies that have a global supplier network. More accurate data allows you to find improvement opportunities, solve problems quicker, prevent shortages and adopt more sustainable practices. 

6. Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles and drones leverage IoT technology to gather data about location, navigation, collision avoidance, road conditions, and much more. 

As a consequence, they bring many possibilities for logistics companies. For example, gathering vast amounts of data makes it easier to save energy and make more environmentally friendly deliveries. They can also reduce human errors by sharing information about road safety. 

Drones are also in an incipient stage but will become more and more important. They are already vital for transporting medical supplies in remote areas. However, they are expected to also improve last-mile delivery, which is usually the most challenging part. Consequently, drones will boost customer satisfaction, as it’ll be easier to deliver packages at the right moment.

Join Qubiz at ICT & Logistiek 2023

These trends will transform logistics. However, they won’t bring you the promised results unless your data is collected, stored and analysed properly.

With more than 15 years of experience, Qubiz delivers intelligent solutions that make your data come to life. Our journey into IoT comes from deep expertise in developing Data and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, helping clients make the right decisions, improve their systems and seize opportunities before their competition does. 

If you want to learn more about what we can do for your business, let’s meet at ICT & Logistiek 2023 between the 8th and 9th of November in Jaarbeurs, Utrecht. Booth 03.D086.

 If you haven’t registered yet, you can do that here. You can also schedule a meeting with Botond Gagyi, our Strategic Partnerships Manager, by clicking the banner below. 

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