Barbara Hinderer | February 8, 2023

Industry Solution Logistics- Always be in control so your goods are in the right place at the right time.

The most popular application for IoT asset tracking is logistics. Sensors can be attached to transport vehicles, boxes, packages or individual items. These are then connected to a remote tracking solution (such as cellular) and monitored as they move through the supply chain.

In the short term, companies can use IoT asset tracking in logistics to reduce losses and theft. Over time, companies can collect data generated by their asset tracking to identify delays and problems. They can use this to optimize operations based on new data sources.

Use case from air cargo

The challenge

The initial situation at our customer was the goal of optimal transport logistics via air freight. Special containers and pallets are used - so-called ULD (Unit Load Devices), in which the contents safely reach their destination. However, organizing and controlling these transports and the intermediate storage is a complex task.

Today’s customers expect more than just monthly reports on transport and storage status. Transparency is also becoming increasingly important in logistics, and standard software solutions quickly reach their limits here as well. For example, there is no control over the exact location of the container /ULDs. This in turn is caused by errors during the check-in of the goods. Or, if the check-in was carried out properly, it is still difficult to locate the ULDs exactly. However, absolute control of intermediate storage is particularly important here. All ULDs must be temporarily stored at the airports before they are loaded and shipped.

Since temporary storage is a very expensive service, it must be precisely defined: How many ULDs need to be temporarily stored at which airports and when?

Unused space or no booked space for ULD temporary storage at the airport causes high costs.

The solution

Finally - by the way, another project in a decade-long partnership - the assignment to develop and implement an asset tracking solution for sensor-based tracking of containers followed. The goal of this IoT solution was to track containers completely and accurately.

This is a sensor-based tracking of ULDs/containers in air cargo. The sensors will be attached to the ULDs. The data is collected and processed via a demand-specific software. This provides our customer with the most transparent and cost effective tracking and monitoring of their containers of valuable cargo. Our customer now has transparent and clear access to all relevant data at all times via this platform.

Sigfox, as an important IoT network partner, provides the LPWAN, the necessary network.

Technology competences

  • Sigfox Global Network for IoT
  • Enables massive low-energy IoT with low cost
  • Supports various sensors for device2cloud connectivity(temperature, location, acceleration, humidity)
  • Long battery life. (I.E.: 4-6 Years)

The benefit

  • High process transparency in tracking the ULDs
  • High cost transparency for control, positioning, maintenance and repair of containers
  • High customer satisfaction

Technologies

  • Sigfox Network
  • Azure Cloud
  • Azure IoT Services

Lecture Recommendation­čĄô: Modern Industrial IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure and Low Power IoT.

Solutions for various scenarios such as smart cities, logistics, supply chains, insurance, etc. using low power and ultra-narrow band can be implemented. In many demos, we will demonstrate how SigFox technology can be used specifically to collect telemetry data from transmitters and process it within the Microsoft Azure platform. Unlike many common IoT scenarios, this session will explicitly focus on low-power IoT scenarios that use small fragments of telemetry data but enable extremely long battery life for sensors.