Shipping containers are mostly tracked using either RFID technology or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). But there have been some drawbacks in regards to using these technologies because they cannot transmit data over a wider area without consuming more energy, making the shipment tracking process expensive and timely.
Over the past few years, new data tracking technologies have surfaced, making it easy and convenient to track containers for shipping companies. One such technology is LPWAN, or Low Power Wide Area Network, which has transformed the supply chain and logistics trends.
A low power wide area network (LPWAN) is a set of communication protocols and standards for wireless communication over large geographical distances, at low power, and over wide areas. LPWANs can communicate over distances of up to 10 km and at data rates up to 300 kbps, depending on network configuration. The communication is performed over licensed radio links, such as cellular or satellite, or unlicensed radio links, such as 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, or 5.8 GHz bands, or ISM bands.
An LPWAN consists of a number of end devices, each equipped with a low-power device, or sensor, which collects data from the physical world. These end devices communicate wirelessly and autonomously with one or more gateways through wireless networks. Each gateway is responsible for routing the data to one or more central servers or data aggregators.
Tracking is carried out by sticking tags to the assets that are being shipped. But it’s more than just knowing where your container is; tracking determines the reduced cost and hence improves your business’s ROI immensely. Here are 3 ways you can us how to track a container using LPWAN:
LPWAN tags with a lot of features other than just tracking the asset, which can tell you more about your container than just the real-time location. container tracking You can choose what you want to track such as weather conditions and humidity.
For instance, if the shipment has perishables that need to be stored within a particular temperature range, you could choose a tag with temperature sensors to monitor changes in the temperature during container transit in a warehouse. Similarly, if the shipment is carrying fragile goods, tags with physical shock sensors would be the most appropriate.
After knowing what LPWAN tags you would use, focus on the data you receive through alerts. This data will help you harvest knowledge regarding what’s happening with your container during critical situations and what you should do to cut down on costs.
The real-time and AI-enabled data analytics received through LPWAN tags will help you determine your actions and will play a huge role in reducing your shipment costs, hence improving efficiency. Moreover, it also reduces the demurrage fees encountered due to lost shipping days when your container spends more time at a government port that charges the demurrage costs.
Once you receive the data and determine your plan to reduce costs and make operations more efficient, set alerts for assets that have been held due to unforeseen reasons at a port and for the assets that have been out of your chain of custody. Look for a solution using Robotic Process Automation to set up container routing plans.
With the knowledge of the exact location of your containers, by using LPWAN tags, you can choose to track the ongoing situation of your pallet, catch on information, analyze the data through alerts, and take prompt action to ensure your shipment reaches safely to its destination.