To deliver your orders “perfectly” to your customers – and by that we mean on time, in full, safely, and in perfect condition – a lot of moving parts need to work in harmony. The trucks and ships, the cargo they’re carrying, the warehouses and distribution centers that store and transfer your goods – all need to be fully synchronized.
Welcome to the art and science of logistics. Fortunately, the latest supply chain and manufacturing cloud technologies driven by the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) are helping companies deliver their products with new levels of precision and efficiency to drive profitability and outpace the competition.
For the transportation industry, we call this connected logistics, and here’s how it works.
Oracle uses ML to determine the most accurate ETAs for your shipments. You can find patterns and generate insights from historical shipments on similar routes, modes of transportation, carriers used for each leg, and the number and location of stops.
Once a shipment is initiated, you can track its location in real time using IoT sensor data. ETAs are dynamically updated based on the current location of the vehicle, remaining stops, expected stop durations, and final distance to the destination. You can do all this with Oracle Fusion Cloud Transportation Management
When there are unexpected traffic jams or other delays– you will be ready. With Oracle’s connected logistics solution, IoT sensor data is used to monitor and recalculate arrival times when there are deviations from planned routes. IoT data is synchronized with OTM, so you have visibility into an entire trip. This allows you to take appropriate actions rapidly and keep customers informed.
|“Increased vehicle utilization combined with improved and consolidated visibility across all our logistics applications, resulted in a 15% reduction in lost sales.”
– Logistics Service Provider
“Oracle SCM and IoT Apps have improved our productivity, decision making, and visibility, which in turn helps us provide our customers more accurate and timely ETAs.”
– CIO of a Shipping Conglomerate Company
Let’s consider when your trucks are moving cargo and making good progress. How do you monitor their condition? If it’s ice cream, do you know if it’s thawing unexpectedly? Or perhaps it’s pallets of milk cartons that need to be refrigerated. Maybe it’s sensitive medical equipment that may get damaged due to shocks or vibrations. Adding IoT devices to cargo containers, trailers and packages will help you track the condition of products, so they arrive in good condition.
With Oracle IoT Intelligent Applications, you can set temperature and vibration thresholds for specific items and be alerted if conditions inside the trailer – and even inside the product’s packaging – exceed acceptable levels. Temperature sensors installed on the outside of a truck can help alert you to extreme temperature changes so you can reroute a trip or take other precautions. Sensor data on both the vehicle or package can also help identify unexpected acceleration, cornering, or g-forces.
Warehouses and distribution centers are equipped with an array of loading docks. When a truck is equipped with IoT sensors and emitting data upon arrival to a dock, Oracle Fusion Cloud Warehouse Management will help direct vehicles in and out of a facility. The system automatically alerts the warehouse when a shipment is running late so a dock can be reallocated to other trucks.
Geofencing capabilities immediately detect a truck’s arrival at a warehouse and search for the next available dock. If there is no availability, the system finds a nearby yard spot and puts the driver on standby until a dock door frees up and the truck is ready to be unloaded. When a truck departs and passes through the geofence perimeter, the transportation team is informed that the delivery is complete.
With connected logistics, you can proactively track vehicles and capture actionable insights about fleets and drivers. Monitoring vehicle maintenance with real-time fault detection using on-board diagnostics can minimize unplanned fleet downtime and reduce fuel costs. Insights on driver behavior such as excessive speeding or aggressive braking can be used in driver training programs.
Oracle can help you employ IoT with transportation and warehouse systems for a comprehensive connected logistics solution. Not only do you get the visibility you need across each step of your shipment lifecycle, but you can also improve customer experience and ensure a more profitable fulfillment operation.
Explore other blogs in this series as we dig deeper into supply chain and manufacturing solutions including an overview of IoT for SCM, smart manufacturing, connected assets, and workplace safety.
Akshay Rastogi is part of Product Management for the Oracle SCM Applications organisation, focused on providing supply chain business solutions with the use of advanced technologies including Internet of Things, AI/ML and Blockchain. He is responsible for product strategy, planning and execution of IoT Intelligent Applications – Fleet Monitoring, and orchestrating the connected logistics solution.
Akshay holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in Retail and Supply Chain Management and more than a decade of experience in the field of supply chain and logistics.