How Telematics Technology Will Change The Supply Chain in 2021


More than 70% of all freight tonnage moved in America goes on trucks, according to a recent report by the American Trucking Association (ATA).

And with 3.5 million drivers and approximately 3.6 million heavy-duty trucks on the road, safety and efficient delivery are of utmost importance. But how can logistics companies ensure convenient delivery while keeping safety in check?

Telematics is one solution that tips the scales in favor of logistics companies. This technology increases the efficiency of the supply chain by providing real-time data.

And not just any data; but data you can use to improve the efficiency of everything—from the routes your drivers take to the way they drive to the hours they spend on the road, etc. In this article, we’ll delve into how telematics will change the supply chain in 2021.


What Is Telematics?

Telematics is a very broad topic that involves the joining of two sciences—telecommunications and information technology.

In the fleet industry, telematics is used to describe vehicle telematics – a series of onboard communication devices and software programs that communicate with one another via GPS receivers to relay information to drivers and dispatch.

Telematics tech is commonly used for GPS tracking and satellite navigation.

However, the advancement of technology has seen the widespread use of telematics in other applications, including tracking driver behavior and enhancing road safety (check out this article for a detailed telematics overview and its application in fleet management). Telematics data can be used to improve supply chain processes and business systems.


How Telematics Tech Will Change the Supply Chain in 2021

Telematics and IoT devices are driving digital change in logistics. Here are few ways that this emerging tech will change the supply chain in 2021 and beyond.


1. Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruptions happen regularly and without warnings.

Sometimes, these disruptions happen on a small scale, like when unforeseen traffic occurs, causing delivery delays. At times, these disruptions could happen on a large scale, like when a massive hurricane hits making delivery routes inaccessible.

Since supply chain disruptions are inevitable, the implementation of real-time telematics devices that monitor road conditions can help dispatch and drivers to act fast in the event of major disruptions. Coupled with innovative route optimization apps and IoT devices that give real-time traffic data, companies will be able to mitigate both small and large-scale disruptions.


2. Improve Transparency & Traceability with New Solutions

Two of the most significant benefits telematics will bring in 2021 are improved product transparency and traceability.

With the proper implementation of telematics technology and the right shipping practices, logistics companies will have much control over their shipments. They will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the shipments as well as monitor the drivers’ behavior.

For all businesses, this information can be very valuable. 

For instance, telematics data will provide accurate information about the location of goods, finished products, and delivery vehicles. Companies will be able to use this data for decision-making as well as keeping the customers updated.



3. The IoT will Make the Supply Chain More Efficient

The internet of things (IoT) will reach a new milestone in 2021. When used in conjunction with other solutions like telematics, it will help them reach the peak of their performance capabilities without compromising on service delivery.

This partnership will help the supply chain in many ways. For example, it will offer advanced tracking and monitoring features that will be of paramount importance to fleet companies.

Add artificial intelligence (AI) into the mix and you’ll have a system capable of peering into the future. Such systems will be able to combine traffic data, speed, and delivery times to give you alerts to potential problems in advance.


The Bottom Line

For companies operating a supply chain, implementing the right vehicle telematics can go a long way in increasing efficiency and streamlining operations.

Telematics was developed to enhance efficiency, improve productivity, save on fuel costs, and increase mechanical alerts functionality. By using the right telematics technology, you’ll set your business up for success and achieve a competitive edge.