With high-value goods and merchandise moving throughout the world, unintentional shocks, vibrations, temperature changes, or even humidity can often occur and lead to critical damage and costly consequences. In addition, through multiple modes of transportations, in-transit goods are constantly exposed to potential impacts or unfavourable conditions that jeopardise their quality and safety. 

Besides damaging goods, these unexpected events can impact delivery performance leading to significant financial losses. Moreover, in a global and highly competitive environment, shippers have to provide better and faster services in response to growing customer expectations.

However, visibility blind spots along the supply chain are natural obstacles to monitoring sensitive goods (temperature, shocks, or humidity) in transit.

It deprives cargo owners of assessing when and where damage happens.

Today, recent advances in technologies have empowered supply chain visibility solutions to monitor better the conditions in which in-transit goods are transported through complex multimodal transportation. For example, promising supply chain visibility enablers, including IoT technology, are now helping carriers to assess, in real-time, shocks, change in temperatures, and humidity during in-land transport and overseas shipments.

Using connected sensors to monitor goods conditions and collecting data about the temperature, shocks, or humidity, IoT-based solutions give you better knowledge and control of your flows. With this data, global operational performance can be improved by increasing transparency and efficiency along the supply chain. 

This article discusses the importance of condition monitoring on the visibility and control of the supply chain operations through data enrichment.

How is real-time condition monitoring used to get a better understanding and better control of goods flow?

In response to these damage risks,  there is a growing need for real-time visibility in the global transportation industry to identify the whereabouts of impacting events and how shipping goods are experiencing accidental damage while in transit.

By getting complete visibility throughout the supply chain, you can take corrective actions to avoid these damages and avoid related losses. Besides, having a better understanding of transport conditions helps you to identify, as well, the responsible and claiming compensation or liability insurance.

Transport condition monitoring employs enhanced technology such as IoT sensors and geolocalisation to assess how, when, and where your goods are being impacted in real-timeDuring the journey, the continuous information is detailed by those sensors. Several parameters, including humidity, shock, light, or temperature, can be monitored.  This helps you get your goods to their destination in good condition.

Knowing the source and location of the damage helps :

  • To optimise the global visibility during transportation
  • To facilitate the rapid implementation of corrective measures and avoid further losses
  • To choose the most reliable transport companies based on historical data
  • To assess the responsibility of carrier and road hauliers in the damage

How the power of IoT is used to monitor your goods-in-transit?

Recent progress in IoT-based technologies has made powerful and efficient real-time condition monitoring of goods in transit. The provider Safecube has developed an IoT-based solution that helps you evaluate in real-time the conditions of transport during journeys using :

  • Connected devices: Inexpensive, simple wireless sensors, able to transmit goods geolocation and environmental data, such as temperature, humidity, light, shocks…
  • LPWAN network: Low Power Wide Area Network that allows to collect of data from the devices over a wide area and transmit it to the cloud
  • IoT platform that enables data exploitation and a wide range of features such as alerting, pattern recognition…


    schema montrant l'IoT

    Those trackers detail information on a wide range of parameters such as temperature, humidity, and shocks on all the routes: air, land, sea. Then, any incidents or shipping events detected by sensors generate alerts that inform the user on the platform when transport conditions are not compliant (exceeding a threshold, for example). 

    The continuous transmission of updates helps cargo owners to manage cargo incidents better, eliminating any disturbance along the supply chain through rapid decision-making.

    It then allows:

    • In some cases, to intervene during the transport to confirm and try to correct the non-conformity.
    • Identify damaged goods and launch appropriate actions (refusing delivery or emergency express delivery, for example).
    • To locate the place of occurrence of the non-conformity and the responsible party based on objective data.
    • Accelerate the triggering and documentation of insurance claims 

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    How monitoring your in-transit goods helps you optimise your supply chain management? 

    Real-time visibility enabled by IoT-based solutions helps shippers take faster decisions based on reliable data that can be used to improve the overall efficiency of supply chain operations.

    Being alerted of any incidents experienced by in-transit goods helps ensure higher security and compliance levels throughout the supply chain. Using condition monitoring gives customers reliable data to help make sure their goods will make it to their destination safely.

    For instance, Nestlé Purina’s case has shown how to enhance visibility on goods’ temperature variations during three months. In fact, in May 2020, this major player in the food industry chose to use the Safecube IoT solution, IoTrack, to evaluate the risk of exposure to high temperatures in its distribution circuit. The objective was to monitor the risk of quality drop on its products, food nutritive values sensitive to high temperatures.

    To analyse the risk of a decrease in their products’ quality, dynamic trackers were fixed with pallets of products or installed in trucks. The deployment of more than 700 IoT trackers allowed to aggregate of more than one million data points, recording temperature during the journey. At the end of the study, some actionable preconditions were made (adjusting transport solution to levels of risks)

    If you’re interested in learning more about Nestlé Purina risk analysis on temperature, a complete use case is available on https://safecube.com/usecase-condition-monitoring/

    Real-time monitoring systems help shippers bring more visibility, more productivity, and operational performance. Better management of potential shipment incidents can also lead in the long run to a global cost reduction

    • Real-time alerts enable the most appropriate action to be taken in the event of an incident. This often limits the economic impact of the incident.
    • Reduction of insurance premiums by providing and providing better control of your flows.

    To conclude, condition monitoring through a low-power IoT tracking solution provides shippers with a strong end-to-end analysis that facilitates a better understanding of what happened during the journey and how it impacted the delivery of the goodsThe IoT-based data captured by sensors can improve the efficiency of their supply chain operations by reducing shipping uncertainty.

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