The logistics industry is currently experiencing a remarkable revolution, driven by the introduction of advanced technologies. In the midst of this dynamic change, asset tracking is increasingly gaining importance. However, this is not just about the tracking of goods and wares alone, but instead, everything revolves around the protection of valuable cargo, the reduction of costs and time, a more transparent supply chain, and the targeted increase in overall logistics efficiency. This article takes a structured look at the indispensable role asset tracking plays in the modern logistics landscape. It identifies the obstacles companies face today and highlights benefits and promising, future-oriented technologies, which are paving the way for the sector’s development.
The logistics sector has acquired a central role, involving 162,000 warehouses worldwide and an annual turnover of 11 billion tons of internationally traded goods. There is a now a growing trend towards using device connectivity to asset-track goods. The number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is impressive at this point:
The biggest challenges for logistics companies are the energy crisis and the lack of qualified workers. In this complex environment, the following challenges are emerging:
Asset tracking can mitigate the impact of these challenges by facilitating streamlined processes.
The importance of asset tracking has become obvious. As early as 2019, 50% of
logistics managers considered asset tracking to be one of the most significant opportunities in digital logistics. The advantages of these digital applications are considerable:
Increased efficiency: 84% time saved, 60% lower costs, 55% reduced
lack of space
Increased performance: 81% better customer care, 61% increased transparency, 55% reduced environmental impact
Depending on the specific application, choosing the appropriate technology is of crucial importance. Among a range of tracking technologies for production and logistics, the following are particularly popular:
GPS (Global Positioning System): GPS is a satellite-supported navigation system which can determine the exact position of any object on earth by using satellite signals to precisely pinpoint a receiver’s location. In logistics, it is essential for the accurate tracking of goods and vehicles.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless communications technology allowing the exchange of data among devices within short range. In the logistics sector, Bluetooth can be used to connect sensors, tags and mobile devices in order to transmit real-time tracking information and subsequently increase supply chain efficiency.
UWB (Ultra-wideband ): UWB is a wireless technology enabling precise geolocation and communication among devices by using short, high-bandwidth pulses. In logistics, UWB can be used to precisely determine the position of goods and assets located inside buildings, where GPS signals are often limited .
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification): RFID is a technology which utilizes radio waves to transfer data from an RFID tag to a device reader. In logistics, RFID is often used to track goods and assets, as tags can be read from a distance and without direct visual contact, allowing for process automation.
Transport damage has a significant impact, far beyond the purely financial. IoT technologies help improve operational security, monitoring, supply chain planning and theft detection. The fact that 11% of loading units arriving at distribution centers are damaged in some form is alarming.
Thanks to asset tracking, the logistics sector is currently undergoing an unmistakable transformation.
Protected goods, increased efficiency and optimized processes signify tangible
advantages of these innovations. It is crucial for logistics decision-makers to use this rapidly developing technology to maximize their competitive advantage while at the same time shaping a sustainable future for the sector.