There is a growing interest in item tracking and tracing services in supply chain and logistics networks for the benefit of end-users. To support this growing demand, companies are vying to provide better services to the end-user community. Organizations use real-time tracking technology across their supply chain and logistics operations to keep up with the fast-changing customer expectations. IoT services paired with data analytics or collaboration platforms do the needful. This allows businesses to increase their supply chain and logistical agility and flexibility, globally.
A. Benefits Of Real-Time Tracking In The Supply Chain
Being a vital part of a company’s business process, a business’s supply chain is crucial to the growth and development of the company. According to a recent article published by MIT, researchers continue to explore the latest developments in IoT that can help make supply chains more accurate and efficient. The benefits of real-time tracking in supply chain and logistics are as follows:
- Tracking technology is a vital tool for businesses in the logistics industry. It allows you to precisely determine goods location are at any particular time for accurate transfers between supply chain partners.
- Real-time supply chain tracking technology makes production planning and shipping schedules easier for manufacturers, and organizations.
- Real-time location tracking increases security for transporting goods as you know where they are at every step. This reduces the risk of theft or other losses, too.
- You can follow the shipment’s journey through real-time supply chain tracking, understand what problems it is experiencing and resolve them.
- Supply chain management is all about data. You can easily access and share all the information collected in your supply chain, with other stakeholders for their knowledge, at any given time.
B. Types Of Real-Time Tracking Technology
Real-time tracking technology allows supply chain leaders to solve challenges and know immediately the moment things are not going according to plan. It enables them to view their entire supply chain in one location and react quickly with accurate information.
If you’re looking for better ways to keep an eye on your supply chain and logistics, here’s a variety of real-time tracking hardware and software that can help.
Fleet Tracking Technology
Fleet tracking technology involves the use of IoT devices installed on vehicles used by logistics companies, to move goods around the supply chain. This includes truck cabs, railcar chassis, ocean vessels, and other modes of transportation. It tracks locations using GPS coordinates with satellite-based intermittent or real-time location updates from these devices interfaced with reporting software which displays their position onto a map for management teams to monitor vehicle status at any given time.
For immediate optimization of vehicle routes, fleet tracking is often combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning. The routing process uses machine vision depending on weather and traffic conditions.
Shipment Tracking Technology
The Shipment tracking device provides accurate data of shipments removed from vehicles or stored. They work with location software to track where exactly these items are at all times.
Warehouse And Storage Tracking Technology
Warehouse goods are extremely important. At the warehouse, there are several ways to track these items
- Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons For Location Tracking (BLE)
Bluetooth beacons are small batteries emitting signals to nearby devices. Smartphones, tablets, and other devices can detect these unique signals from Bluetooth-enabled technology. The iBeacon protocol is a BLE standard created by Apple, allowing specific apps on smartphones or tablets to receive information about the location of each beacon in the range.
- Ultra-Wideband Beacons For Location Tracking (UWB)
UWB beacon technology is a precise way to track items in warehouses and storage locations by creating invisible grids with UWB anchors. You can attach tags onto specific assets or products, which the grid will locate accurately. UWB technology track high-value equipment in a warehouse environment. For acuuracy it is combined with RFID, barcode, or other tracking solutions .
- Radio Frequency Identification For Location Tracking (RFID)
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is used to track inventory levels and locations of goods in warehouses. Passive RFIDs have some limitation:
- At the warehouse RFID tags are scanned
- RFID gates and readers are expensive to purchase and deploy
- Passive RFID tags emit a signal at all times and have ranges of just over 10 cm
RFID tags are more effective for inventory management.
Have you ever wondered how it would be to have an automated warehouse management system that can track inventory in real-time? ZapInventory is a 360° warehouse management solution for your business. This SaaS platform brings order, shipping, and inventory management functionalities into one central software with seamless integration to marketplaces. Book a demo today for your business.
- Barcodes For Location Tracking
Barcodes are a cheap and convenient tool to track inventory levels. They’re inexpensive, easy-to-use, and can be combined with other technology for low-cost tracking of inventory location.
The benefits of real time supply chain tracking are clear. There are different types of tracking technologies available and it makes it difficult to know the right one for your needs. If you need help determining what type of location tracker will work best for you, contact our experts today! We’re happy to answer any questions about fleet, shipment, or warehouse/storage tracking technology that can benefit your business.