Internet of Things applied to logistics, saving valuable time

Truck drivers can receive a queue number and an estimated waiting time through embedded chips. The practice has halved the waiting time for drivers from an average 40 minutes.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Workers sort parcels at the DHL North Asia Hub at Pudong International Airport.

DHL Supply Chain and Huawei Technologies have jointly launched an Internet of Things application at an automotive plant in south China in a trial operation aimed at improving logistics efficiency.

Delivery trucks are embedded with chips developed by DHL and Huawei which can collect real-time dock availability and inform the dispatcher and drivers, the DHL Supply Chain announced in Shanghai.

The trial operation is being carried out in an automobile factory in Liuzhou in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region through until the end of September. About 100 DHL truck drivers and 30 docks are involved.

When a truck arrives, its driver can check in via an app on his or her mobile phone, receiving a queue number and an estimated waiting time. The yard management system then screens the docks to check their availability. As soon as a dock is free, the driver will be notified to proceed accordingly.

The practice has halved the waiting time for drivers from an average 40 minutes, which has largely reduced the risk of delays, said Markus Voss, chief information officer and chief operating officer of DHL Supply Chain.

“By 2025, Internet of Things have the potential to generate up to 1.77 trillion Euros in additional value for the international logistics industry," Voss said.

Other Internet of Things applications such as automatic number plate recognition and geofencing will be added to the trail operation to further enhance efficiency, he added.


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