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2017 is the year for smart logistics

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In today’s highly aggressive and results-oriented world of rapid technological innovation, data is a valuable resource. From different sectors of commerce through to the end user, having the right piece of information at your fingertips makes a huge difference, and this modern-age connectivity is made possible thanks to our smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. According to Spectrum, numerous information technology companies estimate that by the year 2020, the world will be connected by approximately 30 billion devices, making 2017 a key time to capitalize upon an ongoing phenomenon called the internet of things.

What is the internet of things?

Wired explains that as machine-to-machine communication increases, mobile, virtual and instantaneous connections will become more accessible. That said, the IoT isn’t strictly limited to machines—it can also encompass by-product technologies like sensors that play an important role in the data-gathering process. For example, a smart road would be able to detect and warn drivers about icy conditions via vehicles’ wireless connections. As the number of people with access to smart technology increases, so will IoT implementation in our everyday lives.

How does the IoT impact business?

The business potential for the IoT is huge, as the phenomenon can improve the flow of operations and provide companies with data to develop their products and services in a more targeted manner. For instance, the IoT is being implemented within the American logistics industry to improve the efficiency and safety of commercial driving.

In December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will implement a law requiring the installation of electronic logging devices on all commercial transport vehicles. The ELD will completely replace the use of paper logs to track and record journeys, and the data it collects will be accessible by fleet operators, road safety governing bodies and vehicle drivers using IoT technology. The upcoming ruling has the potential to transform the logistics industry, with companies able to use the data collected to reorganize their services and delivery times.

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Mobile workforce solutions company Fleetmatics has already developed an ELD that allows fleet companies to adapt to the new ruling before it comes into effect. After being installed on drivers’ smart devices, the ELD tracks hours of service, automatically makes updates in accordance with new regulations and allows operators and drivers to remain in constant contact.

With artificial intelligence and robotics steadily making their way into mainstream commercial operating models, the IoT has brought new meaning and significance to their integration, equipping retail firms and manufacturing corporations alike with the data they need to change how they do business. Multichannel Merchant’s article on five trends shaping the future of retail logistics notes that robots with AI will soon be used in warehouses to pack merchandise and determine optimal delivery and pickup routes.

This year has seen significant steps toward the widespread integration of smart logistics. As technology continues to advance, logistic companies will likely see further developments with the potential to modernize and reorganize their industry.

This post was written exlusively for MyITpros by technology blogger J.Birch Reports! J.Birch Reports is a writer who is fascinated by the IoT and its potential to revolutionize our lives. She hopes that her articles will encourage people to embrace the latest technological innovations.

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