Which are the use cases for IoT in Logistics

How can the IoT be used in logistics?

In 2025, the global IoT market should reach 1.1 trillion dollars (excluding equipment), with 25.2 billion connections, compared to 6.3 billion in 2016 (GSMA Intelligence study). The industrial sector - including logistics - should account for half of these connections. Incredible! But what are the potential uses of the IoT in logistics? How can you benefit from them? Here are some examples.



  1. The IoT’s role in logistics and transport
  2. 6 example uses of the IoT in logistics
  3. IoT: getting imaginative to optimise organisation


The IoT’s role in logistics and transport

Logistics standards are changing to improve speed and accuracy. Technology is keeping pace with this change, helping businesses to produce a quality service whilst optimising costs. This includes the IoT (Internet of Things), which plays a significant role. It can offer various opportunities in logistics, including:

  • the supply chain 
  • storage
  • fleet management 
  • freight tracking, etc.

As a reminder, the IoT is the connection and interaction between objects using the internet. Connected objects are a version familiar to the general public. This collection of technologies acts as a real driver of digital transformation in industry. And logistics is one of the sectors that benefits most from the IoT. The Internet of Things has changed the logistics sector with its advanced telemetry capacities, surveillance solutions and improved decision making. The global market is growing rapidly. Whilst it accounted for a total value of $10.04 billion in 2016, the market should reach $41 billion by the end of 2021. The following examples will demonstrate the specific uses of the Internet of Things in logistics and transport.


6 example uses of the IoT in logistics

1 : Tracking and analysing stock

Barcodes are an efficient technique used for the traditional basic inventory process. Yet it can be improved using smart labels or RFID (radio frequency identification). This IoT solution offers various opportunities for automation and analysis. Crucial information about the product can be stored in these labels and updated in real time. This can make stock movements more visible.

2 : Optimising storage

In the industry, storage is certainly one of the most important sectors. Optimising storage is crucial, and stored assets are valuable. They deserve your undivided attention.

IoT sensors can be helpful for this task, for example to:

· Maintain a predefined temperature;

· Maintain a specific stable humidity level;

· Keep an area secure; · Detect fires, etc.

3 : Managing a vehicle fleet in real time

Fleet management is probably the most commonly used IoT solution for logistics.

The use of GPS or satellite trackers to collect vehicle data allows companies to:

· Improve driver assignment process compliance;

· Increase delivery time accuracy;

· Keep drivers and goods safe.

You can also monitor fuel consumption and driving behaviour. As you can see, this application includes a human factor. Data can be used to create a tailored training strategy for drivers. This will improve their professionalism and satisfaction at work.

4 : Monitoring shipment integrity

Ensuring shipment integrity affects operational efficacy, but also customer satisfaction. The Internet of Things can offer tailored solutions, for example: a smart sensor can monitor appropriate transport conditions for isolated items or containers. Improper handling and theft can also be detected. This information can all be included in a user-friendly and practical dashboard.

5 : Monitoring the supply chain

The supply chain is a sensitive and essential part of optimised logistics. Companies take steps to closely monitor supply chain operations. The IoT is once again useful in this logistics activity.

You can:

· track travel in real time;

· see the location of a shipment;

· keep an eye on supply from end to end.

6: Improving IT security

Statistics show that cybersecurity threats are on the rise. Industries and the logistics sector are no exception. Connected objects require security. Although the IoT mainly relates to the internet, smart objects use other communication protocols and methods.

There are many IoT networks, and each network uses a different technology to:

· Reduce the risks of cyberattacks;

· Adapt to needs on the ground.

Artificial intelligence can be used to further improve IoT network security. This is called AIoT. It also helps reduce human involvement.


IoT: getting imaginative to optimise organisation

There are endless potential IoT applications in logistics. Another example: same-day delivery. To offer express same-day delivery, technology must be used to accelerate and automate supply chain flows. We have just looked at the most common uses, but in reality you can imagine many more. Let your imagination run free.


Learn more about using the IoT in: