Logistics 4.0 & Digital Supply Chain Management

Optimize your supply chain management with IoT insights

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As production and transportation of goods are now widely globalized, increasingly complex supply chain routes intensify the need for real-time localization and dynamic tracking of goods through the transport system on land, sea, and air, and during storage in warehouses.  The Internet of Things based on low power connectivity is bringing the key to the future of Logistics 4.0 and Supply chain. Smart logistics solutions allow companies to evaluate and improve their supply chain networks with an unprecedented level of accuracy. Digitization is providing companies with new ways of networking and automating their supply chains and deriving more value from them, and specifically it helps with a more efficient decision making process in case of issues in the supply chain process. 

Actility’s ThingPark IoT connectivity platform allows deploying a unified, scalable, multipurpose IoT network infrastructure managing both private and public LoRaWAN™ networks, and enabling an ecosystem of IoT sensors and applications for Smart Logistics and Supply Chain. Not only Actility offers the connectivity solutions, but also the best-in-class reliable and flexible low-power IoT location platform, enabling global tracking. 

IoT applications for Logistics and Supply Chain Management

  • ASSET TRACKING AND FLEET MANAGEMENT
  • MONITORING OF GOODS IN TRANSIT
  • LOGISTICS WITHIN FACILITIES - INTRALOGISTICS
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Follow your fleet and moving assets with IoT

In the logistics industry, assets travel along worldwide transportation routes. During the transit process, the supply chain can be broken by transportation delays, theft, operator errors, IT failures. Logistics managers often find out about delayed or misrouted assets once they arrive – if they do – at their destinations, or at the time of their planned arrival, which is too late. That results into lost productivity, delayed production and damaged client relationships, jeopardizing profits and ratcheting up cost pressure.

Today, IoT solutions leverage LoRaWAN™ technology’s long-range capabilities to monitor assets including cargo and vehicles fleet over long distances, offering flexibility, affordability, and an end-to-end view of the supply chain in real time. From the fleet management perspective, real-time tracking of vehicles allows transport and cargo use optimization, and monitoring of proper vehicle use, and safety, by detecting rogue vehicles and cargo theft. 

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CHALLENGES

The logistics industry needs a way to pinpoint the location of assets in real time and to ensure the integrity of transportation equipment through critical elements of the supply chain. Any sort of equipment failure, like a train derailment, can jeopardize products delivery, raise fleet replacement costs and negatively impact worker safety. The industry also needs to assign responsibility ownership in case of good damages: litigations are one of the biggest cost components of a transport company.

Traditional technologies like RFID fail to tackles those challenges because they give no information about what happens in transit, but only at checkpoints, leaving logistics managers in the dark about the state of the goods and if they are moving safely and quickly through a complex supply chain.

SOLUTION

Small, battery-powered tracking devices with embedded LoRaWAN™ connectivity are securely mounted onto containers, delivery cars, trucks, wagons, boats, pallets, parcels, trolleys, trailers and more. Those devices collect real-time information about their location, running for months and years without a battery change, and they work both indoors and outdoors.

The data is securely transmitted to Actility’s IoT connectivity platform, connected to our partner’s application, or a company’s existing Logistic Information System. This way a logistics manager can see up-to-the-minute information about the exact location of an asset,  and it’s estimated speed and arrival time based on current travel conditions, also receiving alerts in case of unexpected events, for example, if a container traveling by boat or rail is delayed. 

BENEFITS

The IoT asset tracking solution, integrated into fleet management software and telematics, helps companies organize, manage and coordinate work vehicles to keep the overall fleet operation running smoothly. It impacts dispatching and scheduling, route planning and cargo use optimization. A shipping company can analyze how much time its trucks spend idling. 

Getting visibility on moving assets at any point along the supply chain and possibility to quickly react and correct the inefficiencies, streamlining field operations, reducing delay costs and improving client service levels.

Monitoring of the reliability and condition of transportation equipment, and optimization of their utilization rate.  It offers value chain security, peace of mind and efficiency. 

Monitoring over large geographic regions and within harsh environments due to LoRaWAN™ technology’s long-range and low-power consumption qualities and GPS-free geolocation abilities. 

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Keep goods under control with IoT, from loading to delivery

Goods such as agri-food products and medicines must be transported with caution and under specific conditions to keep them viable. Temperature, tilt, shock or incoming light intensity must be monitored as goods are traveling by land, sea, and air. Today, IoT sensors allow to easily monitor transport conditions and location of goods throughout the entire supply chain and to report anomalies. Tracking systems provide better insights into quality control, traceability and responsibility boundaries. It also ensures that sensitive materials are delivered safely, on time and in perfect condition. 

IoT is transforming the efficiency of Cold Chain, which is a temperature-controlled supply chain of long-distance food, pharmaceutical, and other perishable products, by incorporating real-time monitoring with sensors into freezers, refrigerated freight trains, and cargo. The result? A smarter cold chain, where monitoring devices can provide managers with live data about temperature and location, mitigating any problems along the chain before they arise. 

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CHALLENGES

It is vital to have control over the transportation conditions of goods in many different sectors. Food temperature monitoring is crucial for anyone in the food industry. Especially when it comes to perishables, the consequences extend beyond the bottom line. A full 30% of all perishable produce and products never make it all the way from the farm to the table. An unbroken chain of refrigerated environments can mean the difference between usable and spoiled vaccines or food. Some dangerous materials, like chemicals, industrial gases, and liquids, must be monitored to avoid all safety issues.

SOLUTION

IoT sensors and tracking devices are installed in containers, trucks, freezers, storage units and report data like temperature, humidity, tilt, luminosity, using low-power LoRaWAN™ network. Geolocation capabilities can be coupled with transportation conditions monitoring for added value. Actility provides the IoT connectivity platform, connected to partner’s data management application, to configure alerts and trigger swift remedial action. Logistics manager is then alerted whether temperature or humidity rise above or fall below acceptable boundaries or if an asset receives unexpected vibrations or shocks. Containers also transmit all opening and closing processes for safety control. When transporting industrial gases and liquids in tanks, LoRaWAN™ sensors can be used to permanently monitor levels, pressure, and temperature.  

BENEFITS

IoT enables gapless monitoring of goods transportation conditions, due to LoRaWAN™ technology’s long-range and low-power consumption qualities and GPS-free geolocation abilities. It improves the safety of food, medicals and other perishable products or industrial assets, by accurately monitoring the state of their storage facilities and refrigerated trucks and containers. With IoT, cold chains never lose their cool.  The freight being forwarded remains in clear view across the entire supply chain. From the client perspective, the final buyer can access a complete record of transportation information and be reassured. 

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Optimize material flows in your logistics facility with IoT

IoT is not only tackling the challenges of moving things globally from point A to point B across the supply chain – IoT also allows to improve the intralogistics, which is the logistics dimension related to implementing, managing, monitoring and optimizing materials handling and information flows within the four walls of a facility, such as warehouses, but also in ports and terminals. IoT helps to get products most efficiently from the receiving dock to the shipping dock in a facility like a plant and distribution center

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CHALLENGES

In order to avoid inventory losses, low productivity and additional costs due to inefficient intralogistics processes, it’s important to analyze how you can adapt picking and packing, to determine the most efficient shipping route according to traffic conditions, while also being able to track the location of every in-transit item down to its SKU. Understanding what should happen, what will happen, and what happened in the case of any delays is essential for the logistics industry to continually evolve to changing consumer needs.

SOLUTION

Digital capabilities being driven by IoT has eliminated complex and time-consuming manual approaches. Actility enables cross-vertical IoT use cases under one single IoT connectivity platform, for logistics within facilities but also for their energy efficiency, asset management, indoor environmental monitoring and much more: 

WAREHOUSES

LoRaWAN™ sensors with embedded geolocation help workers pick items quickly and without errors, therefore streamlining inventory management systems that automate asset-tracking processes for improved productivity and reduced inventory loss. LoRaWAN™ also allows securing warehouse assets at low cost because it’s resistant to jamming

PORTS

LoRaWAN™-equipped sensors and trackers are placed in shipping containers, to detect the opening and closing of the containers’ doors, monitor the temperature of heat-sensitive cargo, and provide end-to-end tracking of each container. Actility’s ThingPark enables a large variety of use cases in multimodal ports, like water and electricity metering, infrastructure and assets monitoring, and much more. 

AIRPORTS

LoRaWAN™ is being leveraged in airport terminals to reduce the costs of maintaining in-motion ground equipment, including tractors and pallets. LoRa™-enabled sensors capture usage and location data and transmit it wirelessly to gateways, alerting the airlines to perform maintenance based on actual usage, eliminating the need to collect usage data manually and reducing expensive repair costs. Discover all Smart Airport IoT use cases or our dedicated webpage.

BENEFITS

LoRaWAN™ is a cost-efficient IoT solution perfectly complementing legacy supervision systems to provide new services to warehouses, ports, and terminals. Sensors facilitate inventory monitoring and automated reordering for purchasing departments as well, making purchasing processes more efficient and transparent, avoiding long search times and ensuring more security. LoRaWAN™ technology is designed for low energy consumption, which means connected sensors can run for years without replacing the batteries. LoRaWAN™ meets an important intralogistics requirement – the ability to transmit data in different environments (indoors & outdoors, private and public space): workpieces can transmit their status from the high-bay warehouse or from the outside area of the plant site.

Discover our real-life Logistics 4.0 and Supply Chain Management case studies and the latest Actility news !

Why LoRaWAN™ is ideal for Logistics and Supply Chain applications ?

Low network Total Cost of Ownership: LoRaWAN™ has the lowest cost for network infrastructure deployment and maintenance thanks to its high link budget, long range, good redundancy and ease for scaling densification.

Flexibility in network deployment models: industries have the choice to either use their own private LoRaWAN networks or leverage existing public ones. 

Advanced technical attributes:  very low-power bi-directional communications, deep indoor penetration and can work in a remote, harsh environment, high reliability of the network infrastructure and the sensors

Battery Life Optimization: LoRaWAN industrial sensors are optimized for a battery life of up to 15 years, and for transmission frequency, LoRaWAN offers one of the best options for mitigating battery life issues through network densification.

High security: the LoRaWAN specification uses 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithms to provide end-to-end encryption using two keys: one for the users, for protection of payload content; another for operators, for network authentication security. 

Fast-Growing Open Ecosystem of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs): industries have the flexibility to integrate devices from multiple vendors and benefit from interoperability at the network level.

Discover Actility videos on Logistics & Supply Chain IoT use cases​

Interested in Logistics 4.0 and Digital Supply Chain IoT solutions?

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You can buy an IoT solution like Outdoor Asset Tracking on Click & Go, our catalog of fully integrated solutions including devices, gateways, network subscription, and partner’s application

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You can buy sensors and tracking devices for your various Smart Logistics use cases off-the-shelf on ThingPark Market, the largest catalog of IoT devices and applications, powered by Actility

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If you are looking to implement custom Smart Logistics and Supply Chain IoT solutions using our IoT connectivity platform, you can reach out to us through our contact form

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Global Supply Chain with improved visibility

Industrial manufacturers are faced with increasing demand for product volume and at the same time rapidly increasing prices for transport fuel, natural resources, and raw materials. The logistics ecosystem has many actors: in a typical route, the product moves from manufacturer to suppliers, distribution center, retailer, and eventually to the customer. This complexity in the supply chain calls for an agile and transparent supply network, with clear visibility of product whereabouts and other key information. Current tracking technologies such as RFID will locate products only at specific locations. Additionally, GPS location combined with cellular connectivity cannot offer sufficient battery life for end-to-end route tracking. 

Comprehensive digitization across every link in the logistics chain is inherently increasing the volume of data available in real time, thus permitting new insights. For example, it is clear at all times how long which supplier will require for which route, and why quality issues arose in which batches.  The staggering amount of information about transportation routes, warehouse delays, and network gaps acts as a complete audit trail, giving companies all of the data they need to analyze and repair inefficiencies in their supply chains.

Actility’s ThingPark solution uses Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies to offer enhanced battery life for trackers, leveraging this technology to deliver battery autonomy of up to ten years. Taking advantage of public nationwide or privately operated LoRaWAN networks, industrial users can deploy tracking devices with both GPS and LoRaWAN connectivity, dramatically increasing the battery life to several months instead of days. This enables the end to end dynamic tracking of goods between manufacturing plants, warehouses, and end customers. Inside warehouse and storage facilities, indoor location and geofencing are also available using LoRa’s network-based triangulation capabilities, adding even more battery life and reducing the overall solution cost. Integrating data from other sensors offers further capabilities. By introducing traffic monitoring sensors, for example, supply chain operators can to adapt to traffic conditions, avoid delays and save fuel; and data from weather, temperature and/or humidity sensors, will help ensure that the cold chain is respected. 

Offering better service for clients and end-customers

Tracking of goods, based on precise real-time information, creates a better service to end customers and increases satisfaction; they can now know where exactly their item is located at any time, track precisely and address any potential issue in real time. IoT also helps companies to work more effectively than ever before with customers and partners, e.g. suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and logistics providers. The ultimate goal: self-monitoring and self-adaptive logistics.

Optimising the supply chain end-to-end

Actility ThingPark helps all supply-chain stakeholders optimize processes, handling, and logistics operations. Shipping companies can easily find the right container in huge ports, handling agents track lost luggage in airports, and stockholders or distributors the relevant product stored in a warehouse. Being able to quickly locate a specific product avoids loss of time and fuel, and decreases the risk of error and mishandling resulting in the despatch of the wrong product.

Increase revenues and make savings by reducing losses

Real-time localization of all goods, pallets, and containers reduces losses caused by operational errors or thefts. Defined “geofences” can be created, with a dedicated application that can send alerts as soon as the product exits the pre-defined area will help prevent thefts. The logistics issues related to both inbound and outbound material flows can then be streamlined significantly thanks to IoT, impacting revenue flows. 

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Take advantage of accurate low-power geolocation for your IoT projects with our reliable and flexible tracking solution

The energy efficiency of long-range and low-power-consumption LoRaWAN™ connectivity reduces the cost of obtaining location data and enables commercially viable tracking solutions. Our multi-technology track and trace solution is adaptable to different environments and use scenarios. Explore new use cases and create innovative business models based on IoT geolocation.

One multi-purpose network, many applications

LoRaWAN™ offers long range (up to 15km) bi-directional communications with very low power consumption, deep indoor penetration and very low Total Cost of Ownership.

Actility provides its LoRaWAN™  network server and software to manage public or private networks, under a unified, scalable, multipurpose IoT network infrastructure.  A single platform facilitates the deployment, operation, and maintenance of your logistics and supply chain projects, and LoRaWAN ensures that you know the vital data of your systems.

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The LPWA network is a cost-effective solution which allows logistics companies and operators to have complete control of the network and data with only a few base stations, and managing sensors and devices with a very low Total Cost of Ownership. Once the network is deployed, it’s easy and cost-effective to expand the value of the network investment over time by adding new devices.  It also provides standardized, robust security; state-of-the art network management tools; and high quality of service. Through an ecosystem of partners utilizing Actility’s interoperable platform, industries can now leverage significant advancements in IoT technology, including multi-application networks; cloud computing; data analytics; and a new generation of battery-powered edge devices and sensors. All these technologies come together in our IoT connectivity platform that delivers new and differentiating value to enable smart utilities.

Deploy your LoRaWAN™ network with Actility

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 For dedicated enterprise IoT LoRaWAN™ networks

Enterprise-grade LoRaWAN™ platform with best-in-class user experience and Actility’s market-leading technology. Easy to set up, operate and support. 

A large ecosystem with a wide set of industrial use cases fitting small to high-density deployment with the most suitable performance & economics based on a progressive pricing model. 

Fully flexible solution supporting multiple deployment requirements (SaaS or On-Premise), multiple ISM bands, multiple gateway vendors (outdoor or indoor) and multiple IoT application platforms (MS Azure, AWS, IBM, etc). 

End to End Secure solution from the device to the Application using LoRaWAN standard and Actility’s additional security features.  

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For large-scale public deployments by operators

The market leading, most complete, powerful and flexible multi-technology LPWA IoT Network platform. ThingPark Wireless is the preferred IoT network platform for Service Providers rolling out LPWA connectivity services, already powering over half of national LoRaWAN™ network deployments worldwide  

ThingPark Wireless is the heart of your IoT network, enabling secure connectivity, data flow, and management from sensors to cloud applications. ThingPark Wireless is modular, and scales easily, enabling Service Providers to monetize connectivity and accelerate the adoption of IoT solutions across multiple industries. 

Webinar: How LoRaWAN boosts smart water management for your industry

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LESSONS FROM THE WORLD’S LARGEST LORAWAN SMART WATER METER DEPLOYMENT BY BIRDZ-VEOLIA & ACTILITY

Monday, 23rd September 2019 | 2:00 PM GMT +2