“The Internet of Things”, or IoT, is a tech buzzword that’s been gaining more and more momentum the last two years. In reality, it may be more accurately stated as, “The Internet of ALL OF the things”; and rightfully so, as more and more physical devices (things) in our daily lives are embedded with software, sensors and maintain connectivity across one broad network infrastructure – experts have projected that the IoT network will be as vast as 50 Billion objects by 2020.
If you haven’t heard of “The Internet of Things” (IoT), it’s worth looking into because frankly, it’s pretty cool. The way we procure information is changing. Thanks to new Internet-based technologies, we can analyze physical objects and how they interact with the world by embedding sensors in them and “listening.” The sensors transmit data through networks, which can be collected, analyzed and used to predict how the physical objects will act in the future. This information is vast, unprecedented and powerful.
LTL + IoT = What?
Now that you have an understanding of what the IoT is. The obvious question becomes, what are the implications of the IoT for LTL shippers and carriers in the future? Well, until the science of teleportation becomes an option for moving your business goods, LTL Shipping is still the name of the game.
The good news is that The IoT has started to make its way into the LTL industry. The IoT will continue to improve the efficiency, accuracy and expediency of LTL shipping. Which will improve services and save time and money for you, the shipper.
Saia LTL Freight, a top LTL carrier, has employed the use of the Internet to monitor truck and driver performance and improve operations. And so far, they love it, which means the LTL industry is ripe for new technological advancement. This doesn’t come as a surprise; the LTL industry is well known for its antiquated ways. So, Internet of Things, meet the LTL industry, we think you’ll like it here.
Innovation at Saia
Saia caught wind of the IoT and decided to give it a go. With a fleet of over 3,000 trucks, applying Intel Corp. sensors to the lot was no small (or inexpensive) feat, but its already starting to pay off. These sensors monitor every component of the truck to gauge maintenance needs, driver safety and other metrics. Thanks to the internet, all this information is transmitted in real time, which means Saia engineers can monitor performance to increase efficiency and predict problems before they happen.
Saia Vice President of Transportation, Brian Balius has this to say regarding the LTL company’s shift to the IoT:
“It used to be, in our industry, for us to find out what happened with a driver and with a vehicle we had to wait for them to come back to the office. Now we can see these things happening all day long—as they occur.” The result of this innovation is drastic. Saia saw a 6% increase in fuel efficiency, which translates into roughly $15 million in savings, in the first year alone.
We doubt Saia will be the last LTL carrier to dive into IoT tech, and we expect it to happen sooner than later.
The Internet and The LTL Industry in the Future
The transportation sector has grown dramatically from is (formerly) notoriously antiquated ways. LTL shipping stands to gain enormous new efficiencies by accepting the latest Internet tech, and Saia is working proof. The Internet of Things is forecasted to create $1.9 trillion in economic value in the logistics sector over the next 10 years. Yes, you read that correctly, that’s 1.9 trillion dollars.
FreightorGator is taking an active role in promoting new technology in the LTL sector. We see an enormous need for an improved process, and our digital freight exchange is already transforming the way shippers quote and book LTL freight. We applaud Saia and their initiative with IoT technology and embrace their revolutionary spirit in an overwhelmingly out-of-date industry.