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The Visible Value Blog


Posted by Maria Casu

November 20, 2017 at 10:37 AM

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The demands on T&L companies are greater than ever. Customers expect faster and flawless deliveries (at lower cost), regulations continue to change, and leaner, digitally-driven start-ups are ramping competition – particularly over the last mile.
To keep ahead of these demands, teams across the supply chain need to work with greater speed, accuracy and efficiency. Our T&L solutions are here to help.

Using smart, Internet of Things (IoT) technology we can provide real-time visibility over all corners of operations. Visibility that equips your people to make more informed – and better – decisions. Our approach has been recognised by the logistics experts (and readers) of Logistik Heute and the German Logistics Association (BVL) who’ve named Zebra as one of the three best brands in marking and identification.

IOT IN Transport and Logistics

Our IoT solutions include smart tags, such as temperature sensors and barcode and RFID tracking labels that can be attached to pretty much anything. Examples include trucks, the items they carry, people, equipment, and much more. The data on tags and sensors can be captured using automated readers (in the case of RFID) and handheld scanners and mobile computers carried by your teams to send a stream of status data to your back office over Wi-Fi and 4G networks. The data can be analysed using the huge, and low cost, power of the cloud to shine a light into every recess of your operations.

It delivers what we call Visibility That’s Visionary and it’s helping to change every area of the T&L sector. Just a few examples include:
  • Safe asset transportation: Items such as food that need to be be transported within a set temperature range can be continually monitored – with an audit trail automatically captured – and alerts sent to drivers or the head office if parameters are breached. The technology removes the guess work from the transit of perishable items.
  • Improved fleet efficiency and safety: As well as optimising every journey with improved route-planning based on real-time traffic analysis, you can monitor telematics continually to ensure vehicles are driven as you expect and that drivers are obeying speed limits and advisories. This approach helps to enhance safety and reduces wear and tear on your fleet.
  • Flawless fulfillment: With the ability to track every item, everywhere, as it moves through your operations, the supply chain becomes much more efficient. Take the warehouse. Here, a combination of RFID and barcode scanning allows your teams to capture data with greater speed and accuracy to process, put away, pick, pack and ship items with flawless accuracy. What’s more, our rugged mobile and wearable devices – allied to intuitive, voice-directed workflows – are helping teams significantly increase their productivity.
We’re continually working on new technology too, such as Zebra’s SmartPack™ Trailer. The main reason why trucks travel with unused space is that we often know the weight of items, not their size. IoT changes this. Smart systems in distribution centers can automatically assess the dimension of items as they arrive and recommend a loading pattern for onward shipment. Critically, too, as the goods move downstream, and fleet planners can see the dimensions of what’s coming, they can better plan how many trucks to position at distribution centers and load them more effectively.

We call it orchestrating the next best move. In the US, the less-than-truckload industry is worth around $30 billion a year, with around $2.5 billion of that lost because firms cannot dimension the goods they carry. With IoT and smart analytics, that $2.5 billion can be added to the bottom line whilst also reducing the carbon footprint.

With our goal to make industry as smart and connected as the world we live in, you can read more about our Transport and Logistics solutions.

Topics: EMEA, transport and logistics