Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Logistics Group Finds How to Track Valuable Re-Usable Packaging Assets Along the Supply Chain

IoT Technology Used to Determine Position of Motorcycle Cradles Throughout Europe
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – EUROPE – Automotive logistics specialist Gefco has found a solution to a problem which is often the curse of the industry, or indeed any freight operation where re-usable packaging needs to be returned to source or hub. The French supply chain outfit has announced partnerships with Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Actility, a leading LoRaWAN solution provider, and Wakeo, the host of a real-time visibility platform, to provide an innovative, tailor-made solution to streamline motorcycle cradle management processes in Europe.

Once motorcycles leave the factory, they are stored and transported to dealers facilities on cradles. A shortage of cradles generates additional costs and production management problems. Cradles are not easy to track and are sometimes lost or stolen, which reduces manufacturers fleets and leads to delivery delays.

LoRaWAN is a low power wireless protocol for wide area networks that allows devices to communicate with IoT applications over long-range wireless connections with extended battery life. Actility powers more than 50 public LoRaWAN service providers in over 30 countries, along with managed enterprise networks for dedicated vertical IoT solutions. Actility also enables multi-country geolocation solutions through its LoRaWAN roaming hub and Abeeway, its subsidiary that makes low power, long-life trackers.

Wakeo provides an SaaS platform to bring real-time visibility on B2B multimodal transport flows. The software aggregates transport providers’ data and guarantees data quality by enriching it with independent information (IoT data from hardware partners, AIS and satellite data). Using in-house algorithms, Wakeo predicts times of arrival and sends proactive alerts to enable operational teams to anticipate delays.

Smart trackers have been provided by Actility and installed on the cradles to provide positions with an accuracy up to three metres and a battery lifetime of more than seven years. Tracker data is then collected via the LoRaWAN networks and analysed on the Wakeo platform. This platform updates the motorcycles’ estimated arrival time at the dealer’s facility in real time. The platform also allows the user to locate the cradles, showing if and when they have been delayed. Automated alerts are sent to operational teams about delays.

Thanks to this system, motorcycle manufacturers can make sure the initial transport plan is being followed, while being informed of possible delivery delays and the cradles’ return. Emmanuel Cheremetinski, Executive Vice-President Inland at Gefco, commented:

“The integration of these two innovative solutions will give Gefco customers a comprehensive overview of their flows. They will benefit from real-time, predictive, cost-effective, energy-efficient and sustainable solutions for managing logistics resources and complex supply chains. This demonstrates the effectiveness of our innovation strategy and confirms the added value that our partnership with Techstars can bring to our customers.”

Last year, Gefco also initiated another key partnership, with Techstars, the US based seed or start up accelerator, as part of its innovation strategy to explore and invent new business lines. This strategy has three priorities: detecting new ideas and opportunities with the Innovation Watch and Business Intelligence teams, testing new ideas proposed by internal teams at the Gefco Innovation Factory, and investing in specific projects with Innovation Funding.