As each year passes by, we see an exponentially growing range of devices that connect to the internet.  It is evident that the Internet of Things, more commonly known as the IoT, help consumers to gain more access to a lot of services via connected devices; and these devices can make most things convenient with just the user’s fingertips, wherever they are.   

If the IoT technology is applied to the global supply chain industry, it can make businesses serve their customers better, and at the same time save business finances and increase overall efficiency. With these advantages, it is not surprising to know that the industry is progressively willing to spend budgets over the next few years.

Based on Cisco’s prediction, the global IoT market is ought to have a net worth of $ 14.4 trillion by 2022, with the largest share invested in the improvement of customer experiences. Cisco advised that the extra areas of investment would focus on the downsizing of time-to-market ($3 Trillion), development of supply chain and logistics ($2.7 Trillion), cost reduction of strategies ($2.5 Trillion), and improvement of employee productivity (another $2.5 Trillion).

IoT is affecting the delivery and fulfilment operations of companies
Photo source: Business Insider Intelligence

Multiple principal segments for advancement have been established, and the utilization of new devices and platforms to increase the efficiency and security of shipping are being implemented at a fast pace.  As a result, the leading companies have recognized the beneficial impact and significance of adopting IoT technology.  As analysts continue to search for market trends and enhancement in the accuracy of predictions, it is eminently important for you to know the ways on how the Internet of Things can solve the problems that the supply chain industry is facing, and how it can be beneficial to them.

Real-Time Visibility + Unparalleled Transparency

As the supply chain industry adopts IoT technology, it also adapts to the practice of using sensors and devices to track shipments, trucks, equipment, and property.  IoT allows supply chain managers to connect their vehicles, gears, and devices with the aim of gaining near real-time status updates on jobs.  These sensors and devices help them achieve more improved control of inventory and goods, environmental condition, shipments, and theft.  With real-time data gathered from these sensors and devices, the supply chain managers can devise smart and timely decisions that will keep the goods to move efficiently and allow them to get ahead of any potential issues.  Also, with the increase in the visibility of the supply chain and the business process, customers can easily trust and rely on the companies implementing it.  Having this level of transparency can also help these companies to create a unique brand image.  Thus, this makes IoT solve one of the major problems in the supply chain sector: visibility and transparency, which are usually manual and error-prone processes.

Reduced Theft

In today’s world, leading companies in the supply chain and logistics space put their main interest in the reduction of theft in their goods, property, and products.  It has been reported by researchers that 89% of the logistics and shipment services providers consider the lack of visibility as one of the greatest challenges they currently face.  Having a lack of visibility does not only related to where the shipments are, but also what is happening to them, and if their security is guaranteed.  Moreover, calculating the accurate number of thefts, and the value of stolen goods in the supply chain industry is complicated considering many such incidents go unreported.  This problem is generally due to the avoidance of raised insurance fees or damage to the brand image from adversarial publicity.  The FBI has estimated that the total loss of value in the supply chain sector ranges from $15 Billion to $30 Billion yearly.  However, the Australian Institute of Criminology assessments brings the annual global financial implications from cargo loss at around $60 Billion.  This results in theft being an issue worth seeking solutions for. 

With the implemented preventive measures of IoT and logistics tracking solutions, you can reduce theft of your goods and property at a considerable cost.  Using real-time data with tracking can not only minimize the occurrence of thefts, but it can also help recover the goods before they are entirely lost.  Time critically serves as a key feature in recovering goods and giving off early warning signals through IoT visibility.  The gathered real-time information can also control the shipping routes and procedures for better safety.  In this manner, the likelihood of loss is reduced.

Global Connectivity

To achieve a successful theft reduction, you need an IoT solution that can equip you with global connectivity.  If your business is operating around the world or if you have vendors in other countries, you will need visibility of your goods, products, and services wherever it is or through what mode (air, sea, surface, or rail) it gets transported.  Theft is even considered a bigger problem if you are dealing with global supply chain, especially in particular areas around the globe.  This creates a more urgent for a dependable tracking and recovery tool.  Gathered data from distant places helps you improve your shipping operations through real-time and past insights. 

Connected Ecosystem in Manufacturing Facilities

Thanks to the connectivity of ecosystem sensors in manufacturing facilities, it is easier to collect various data related to machines and processes in production.  The data collected from these ecosystem sensors can help in monitoring temperatures of tools, thus, detecting any abnormalities in the machine functioning to safety alerts and other features.  This outcome can provide manufacturers and production managers with better output that can be used for enhanced environment optimization.

Prediction Based Enhancements

The most essential thing in any supply chain is to deliver the finished products from the manufacturing facility to its designated location through a multi-layered process without fail.  The end-user in the supply chain could be another trader or it could be just a plain customer.  A number of factors in this entire process can add to the delay or interruption in the delivery or supply.  This is why the role of predictive maintenance is extremely vital.

The connected ecosystem of sensors and devices in the supply chain management can certainly deliver accurate information about the irregularities, fault lines, defects, and other elements contributing to downtime.  Using such information, future issues and pitfalls can be predicted; and used to enhance the supply chain processes.

What else can you do with IoT data?

By utilizing data gathered from IoT devices, companies would then be able to determine and limit shipping routes, assess their third-party carriers, minimize insurance costs, and modernize their shipping processes.  In this case, data will also enable the redirection and/or interception of damaged goods before any of it reaches the customer.  With this, it could be said that data is one of the most valuable parts of IoT.  It is incredibly useful in simplifying the occurrence, terms, location, and efficiency of shipping.  Decision making powered by data-management is imperative in today’s global market for businesses to stay competitive.


The Internet of Things might be a relatively new technology but it has already penetrated the business processes of supply chain management companies deeply.  It is constantly pushing the industry’s barrier to improve efficiency, performance, and business production.   Adopting this kind of technology can give one company a significant advantage over its competitors.  Utilizing IoT technology while leveraging other tools available can serve as a huge opportunity but pose a challenge for companies in the industry.  However, with such solutions readily available in the market, it will be easier for companies to carry out an IoT strategy, and deploy it within their allocated budget and timeline.  In the supply chain, companies always search for ways to transform their shipping processes and take advantage of IoT supply chain solutions to recognize the essential ROI, reduced theft, and recovery rate.  In addition, companies can use data from IoT to examine high theft routes and adjust their shipping and transport procedures in order for them to save millions.








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