The transport and logistics industry has taken great strides in terms of understanding the benefits of the ability to track and monitor assets and cargo. There is now widespread acknowledgement of the operational value that can be derived from having an accurate understanding of the location and status of high-value fixed and movable assets, including road vehicle fleets, sea-faring vessels as well as tank cars and containers. Furthermore, any asset can yield a far higher return on investment over its lifecycle when it is intelligently managed; productivity is maximised and downtime is minimised.
Additionally, security and safety
are enhanced thanks to IoT, and supply chain relationships dramatically improve
when delivery times can be more accurately predicted.
While the need for investment in satellite-enabled
asset tracking technology is now more generally accepted, the next challenge is
turning the data enabled by today’s asset tracking solutions into a new
business opportunity by identifying exactly what the goals of these technology
The most basic function is enabling
the user to follow dots on a map to predict when cargo will arrive at a port.
But that is just a drop in the ocean compared to the potential business value
that can be realised from analysing the granular information harvested from innovative
asset tracking solutions.
Thanks to the burgeoning data
lakes from the Internet of Things, everyone is talking about Big Data today. It
is a true phenomenon which has led to the emergence of an entirely new class of
organisation, namely the business analytics specialists whose stock in trade is
to capture, understand and interpret masses of data. The overarching role that
these new-era, often start-up companies perform is to digest and process IoT
data and to deliver actionable information to users.
These new era data alchemists develop
algorithms that inspect vast amounts of data to spot patterns and trends. The
result is meaningful, understandable insights, which provide direction and
encourage fast, smart decision-making. But the communication means to deliver all
this data from IoT devices needs to be ultra-reliable, and without risk of
interruption, regardless of location.
As a result, many organisations in
the logistics and transport sector have embarked on a steep and sudden learning
curve: they are absorbing the language of Big Data and the technologies that
To ensure data streams are true,
robust and complete – in order for the analytics specialists to be able to
reliably make accurate and trustworthy predictions – transmissions from the IoT
devices need to be ubiquitous and uninterrupted. This presents challenges when
you are tracking an asset as it makes its way across the globe.
Many of us will have personally
experienced the frustration of data transmission interruption: for example if
you are watching Netflix and your Wi-Fi falters.
When you are transmitting data to
monitor a worldwide fleet of cargo vessels, the consequences are rather more
serious than a minor nuisance.
A variety of technologies and
solutions exist in the market today which promise always-on low-power tracking
capability for assets and cargo. These are based on a range of distribution
technologies including GSM and proprietary radio and local or wide area network
(LAN/WAN) based product offerings.
However only by employing
satellite communications can users be sure that the connectivity with their
shipments and the assets which convey them will be uninterrupted, whatever the
weather or environment, and even when the items travel beyond regions of
reliable GSM reach.
Game-changing cost savings with solar power
Transport and logistics providers
quite understandably crunch and re-crunch the numbers when it comes to deciding
to invest in smart asset tracking technologies. Many factors play a role in
these calculations, but top of the list of requirements are energy economy and
low maintenance. The financial case can be transformed with the introduction of
solar powered technology. With asset tracking and monitoring enabled by solar
power, such as the new SmartOne Solar device, batteries can last up to eight
years without a recharge.
Tracker maintenance, particularly
to replace batteries, is a factor in any deployment. By using solar power as an
energy source, maintenance costs fall dramatically, accelerating the return on
investment. Solar power is a true game changer and will make affordable
world-class ubiquitous asset tracking a reality for more users than ever before
There is a good reason why
everyone’s talking about Big Data – that’s because there’s a wealth of data out
in the field that can be used for faster, smarter decision-making to transform
a business and even the whole supply chain.
With smart satellite tracking technology, generating rich, informative data transmissions, at the heart of an ultra low maintenance ultra energy-efficient platform, the Big Data dream can come true.
Meet Globastar at the IoT Tech Expo World Series
IoT Tech Expo Global 2019 – Globalstar stand 600
25-26 April | Olympia London
IoT Tech Expo Europe 2019 – Globalstar stand 427
19-20 June| RAI Amsterdam
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