The Doppler Quarterly Summer 2017 - Page 66

ting them ready for global shipment. The ramifications of this are massive. Virtually all port and logistics capacity in Shenzhen / Hong Kong are tied up for months before and after the launch. Smaller customers and shippers regularly have a tough time moving any prod- uct out of that region. Delivery times can double (or worse), which impacts many companies trying to stock up for holiday buying season. Do companies try to avoid the rush by shipping their products by mid-summer to stock their warehouses and distribution centers? Will their products be ready in time? Can they afford to tie up all that working capital in inventory? Or do they take their chances on the shipping spot market - paying through the nose while hoping and praying that their shipments will arrive on time? Consignors are working towards their most profitable time of year, but there is much to lose if they fail to deliver on-time. Proverbially that rolls downhill for the consignees. All parties are seeking better visibility and more predictable results. So what can be done? Enter IoT and Machine Learning. For 2nd-party logistics providers: 2PL’s have the opportunity to equip all of their assets with sensors and GPS trackers. This includes (but is not limited to) the following: • Ships (partially tracked by AIS) • Aircraft (partially tracked by ADS-B and ACARS) • Rail (locomotives and railcars/wagons) • Trucking (cabs/tractors, trailers, and chassis) • Ports (gateways, portals, gantries, and geo-fenced zones) • Intermodal shipping containers Many use cases can simply be addressed through tracking time-based loca- tion. However, by adding additional sensors for temperature, humidity, vibra- tion, light, door open/close, etc., there are many more quality, safety, authen- ticity and security use cases that become possible. In addition to being able to offer new, sensor-based services to their clients, 2PL’s have much to gain in terms of better asset utilization and management. Knowing where the assets are at any moment in time, combined with predictive models that know when assets will be returned are the keys to driving utilization. For a 2PL, higher utilization directly correlates to higher revenue and margins. For the 4PL/5PL or Service Provider: Thinking at a higher level, however, there are much larger opportunities for industry service providers that want to provide a macro view of shipping and logistics. This is where 4PL’s and 5PL’s see their chances to make a material impact on the global shipping market. 64 | THE DOPPLER | SUMMER 2017