Gaining visibility and control over transport flows can be achieved in many ways. IoT seems to become the key to goods traceability in today’s supply chain. And yet there are other equally effective solutions. It’s all about need. But how do we choose?

This article highlights the opportunities of an IoT solution, then a 100% digital track & trace solution and their synergies. Because yes, you may need both solutions to meet your needs best.
First of all, to better understand how these two solutions fit together, it is necessary to understand their differences.

Two different sources of information

An IoT solution in the supply chain consists of placing trackers in containers which (thanks to a network independent from shipping lines) will detect positions, evolutions of conditions (temperature, humidity…) and unforeseen events related to these containers in real-time.

A 100% digital track & trace solution will connect to the information made available by shipping lines, ports and satellite data. And then, collect, process and make them available in a single interface, almost in real-time.

Two different levels of visibility

The data capture allowed by a track & trace solution will be directly linked to the information made available by the shipping lines. This is all the information you need to track your goods easily.
– Near real-time and port-to-port tracking information
– Allows you to know a prediction of the date of arrival at the ports.
– Information on delays

The data capture enabled by the IoT solution is totally independent of the shipping line network. It, therefore, provides end-to-end information from container loading to container opening and thus in complex multimodal transportation. Also, the IoT trackers allow capturing data related to transport conditions such as temperature, humidity, or shocks. The alerts provide information on particular events such as unloading activities or sleeping containers.
It’s information that goes fast, which shipping companies don’t necessarily have or don’t have in real-time.

But does each flow need as much information?

Each of the solutions meets different needs related to the criticality of the flows.

The IoT solution seems much more complete and feature-rich than the track & trace solution. However, is it really adapted to all flows?

The expression « a little is good; then more is better » does not necessarily seem adapted to our flow tracking problem. Indeed, the ROI potential justifies the IoT for some flows but not for all.

The track & trace solution for in routine monitoring

The track & trace solution is therefore perfectly customised for flows that need to save time in the search for information, the need to be informed without too much latency, to have an arrival date and to be alerted as soon as possible in the event of a problem, routine monitoring for example.

IoT, a need for the very precise granularity of information

This solution can therefore be adapted as much for a spot campaign, at a particular moment and for part of the flows, as for a routine campaign but with a very high criticality of flows.

Two perfectly complementary solutions

Far from being opposed, these two solutions are perfectly complementary.
Indeed, it is a choice that is made from one customer to another but also from one flow to another.
In other words, the same customer may need to use both solutions depending on his flows.
Safecube today offers a vision of a single solution giving access to two totally complementary services. One platform to cross IoT and 100% digital features. EasyTrack, a track and trace solution have been created to be perfectly complemented with IoTrack, an IoT solution.

This tracking solution provider develops expertise that focuses on the need rather than the solution itself. This involves a tool that adapts to the criticality level of the flows.

To conclude, these two solutions are in no way opposed and each offer added value depending on your need and the criticality of the flows.
On the contrary, their complementarity can allow the accumulation of quality historical data and give access to many analytics. Finally, a concrete and in-depth evaluation of performance can be made for better knowledge and control of its flows.