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How AI and IoT devices will revolutionize supply chain logistics and management in 2021 (UPS, FDX, AMZN)

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 22 Feb 2021

<bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>As with many other areas of the economy, the digital revolution is having a profound effect on delivery logistics. <img style="float:right;" src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/5fe394b5edf89200180938e8-922/eMarketer-shipments-of-internet-of-things-enterprise-drones-retail-fulfullment-worldwide-2019-2023-thousands-251484.jpeg" border="0" alt="eMarketer shipments of internet of things enterprise drones retail fulfullment worldwide 2019 2023 thousands 251484" data-mce-source="Insider Intelligence" data-mce-caption="Drone shipments continue increasing worldwide."></p><p>The combination of mobile computing, analytics, and <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-cloud-computing-2016-10">cloud services</a>, all of which are fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT), is changing how delivery and fulfillment companies are conducting their operations.</p><p>One of the most popular methods for fulfilling deliveries today is through third-party logistics, which involves any company that provides outsourced services to move products and resources from one area to another. Third-party logistics, or 3PL, can be one service, such as transportation or a warehouse, or an entire system that maintains the whole supply chain.</p><p>But the IoT is going to change&nbsp;how this process operates. Below, we've outlined the impact of IoT on supply chain, and how IoT management will transform inventory, logistics, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-in-manufacturing-2016-10">manufacturing</a>, and more.</p><h2>Internet of Things Supply Chain Management</h2><p>One of the biggest trends poised to upend supply chain managers is asset tracking, which gives companies a way to totally overhaul their operational efficiency by giving them the tools to make better decisions and save time and money. <img style="float:right;" src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/5d92e6d52e22af2f8b5cdc4f-2400/2019-10-01t053802z1lynxmpef901zortroptp4deutsche-post-parcels.jpg" border="0" alt="FILE PHOTO: An electric powered truck of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL is pictured at a parcels distribution centre in Berlin, Germany, September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo" data-mce-source="Reuters" data-mce-caption="FILE PHOTO: An electric powered truck of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL is pictured at a parcels distribution centre in Berlin"></p><p>And this transformation is already underway. A recent survey by GT Nexus and Capgemini found that 70% of retail and manufacturing companies have already started a digital transformation project in their supply chain operations.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/intelligence/research-store'IR=T&amp;utm_source=businessinsider&amp;utm_medium=content_marketing&amp;utm_term=content_marketing_store_text_link_internet-of-things-logistics-supply-chain-management-2016-10&amp;utm_content=report_store_content_marketing_text_link&amp;utm_campaign=content_marketing_store_link&amp;vertical=iot#!/Asset-Tracking-in-the-Supply-Chain-and-Logistics/p/72433104">Asset tracking</a> is not new by any means. Freight and shipping companies have used barcode scanners to track and manage their inventory. But new developments are making these scanners obsolete, as they can only collect data on broad types of items, rather than the location or condition of specific items. Newer asset tracking solutions (which we'll get into shortly in the next section) offer much more vital and usable data, especially when paired with other IoT technologies.</p><h2>Internet of Things Inventory &amp; Warehouse Management</h2><p>There are several new pieces of technology that are already changing how logistic companies and warehouses work. First is active and passive RFID tags, which provide data on items to which they're attached. The main difference between the two is that passive tags have an RFID antenna and a microchip for storing information, while active tags have their own battery power and can sometimes include additional sensors.</p><p><img style="float:right;" src="https://static4.businessinsider.com/image/50c631b26bb3f7ad1c00001d-1024/rfid-1.jpg" border="0" alt="rfid label" data-mce-source="Flickr/Michel Jansen" data-link="http://www.flickr.com/photos/michel-jansen/4557740003/sizes/l/in/photostream/"></p><p>Internet-connected trackers use long-range networks or Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) to let companies track specific items throughout their delivery journeys. In the same vein, satellite trackers provide location data on an item almost anywhere on the planet, even in areas that do not have cellular coverage.</p><p>Bluetooth tags and beacons offer tracking data in smaller, more confined areas, and companies most often use them in retail stores to monitor customer traffic and offer marketing messages to said customers.</p><p>Finally, near-field communication (NFC) tags, based on RFID standards, allow workers to use their mobile devices as readers for the NFC tags, which provides an advantage over RFID tags and readers.</p><h2>Internet of Things Fleet Management</h2><p>Companies and even governments that operate vast numbers of vehicles are more frequently using <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-connected-transportation-2016-10">connected fleet management</a> solutions to make the process more efficient.&nbsp;</p><p>Much like inventory and warehouse management, these solutions use GPS technologies and real-time tracking to gather data on the locations and operations of their vehicles.</p><p>Companies are deploying these solutions in three main ways:</p><ul><li><strong>Physical asset movement and delivery:&nbsp;</strong>This includes fleets of largely semi-trailer trucks that transport goods to fulfill consumers' or business' orders. These fleets can handle long-haul or <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/last-mile-delivery-shipping-explained">last-mile delivery</a>.</li><li><strong>Consumer transportation:&nbsp;</strong>This includes governments and businesses that use vehicles to transport people from one destination to another.</li><li><strong>Field-service vehicles:&nbsp;</strong>This includes vehicles operated mostly by businesses to transport employees as they perform their job functions.</li></ul><p><strong><em>Interested in learning more' </em></strong>Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive thousands of forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes. &gt;&gt; <strong><a href="https://www.insider-intelligence.com/become-a-client/'IR=T&amp;itm_source=businessinsider&amp;itm_medium=content_marketing&amp;itm_campaign=report_teaser&amp;itm_content=bottom_bullets&amp;itm_term=enterprise_text_link-iot-supply-chain-management-logistics">Become a Client</a></strong></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/iot-supply-chain-management-logistics#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p>
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