The transport and logistics industry is experiencing a surge in IoT solutions as more devices become interconnected and linked to the cloud. Digitalization, facilitated by smart sensors, allows organizations to efficiently track assets, optimize traffic routes, and enhance logistical operations on a global scale.
Cellular IoT devices offer real-time visibility throughout the supply chain, facilitating constant monitoring of product status and enabling proactive decision-making, ultimately enhancing supply chain operations. The data generated by these connected devices holds significant untapped potential. To ensure secure cellular connectivity, Embedded SIM (eSIM) and Integrated SIM (iSIM) are well-suited for transport and logistics applications. These technologies allow trusted firmware and software updates over the air, guaranteeing the reliability of supply chain data and facilitating improvements in distribution, inventory management, and forecasting.
M2M modules integrated into vehicles or containers can securely transmit vital data through eSIM or iSIM to a web-based software platform, enhancing logistics. Placing discrete trackers strategically within crates, containers, and pallets enables cost-effective and efficient tracking of goods.
The transport and logistics industry has been a strong proponent of eSIM technology, with a significant percentage of users adopting it to avoid operator lock-in and reduce SKU count. eSIM’s capabilities make it the preferred form factor for module makers seeking secure chip-to-cloud security and the ability to operate in low-power devices on a large scale worldwide.
eSIM’s advantages extend to localized data, where cellular IoT devices can be used globally, and their profiles can be remotely changed when assets move to different regions on various networks. This eliminates the need for expensive roaming services, leading to cost savings over the device’s lifespan. eSIM and iSIM-powered devices are particularly beneficial for cold chain logistics, where maintaining specific storage conditions is critical for goods like perishables, sensitive medicines, and high-value items. The compact size and robust security of eSIMs provide reliable analytics for accurate data tracking throughout the cold chain process.
The progress of mobile network technologies such as 5G with LTE, IoT RSP, and Non-terrestrial Networks (NTN) has significantly boosted IoT-enabled asset tracking. Standards like NB-IoT and CAT-1 LPWAN in the latest 3GPP standards for 5G technologies ensure tracking devices can operate for extended periods without frequent battery replacements. The development of IoT RSP eSIM SGP.32 enables seamless modification of eSIMs at various stages, enhancing flexibility and ease of use.
Non-terrestrial networks, now part of the 3GPP standard in Release 17, allow direct communication between NTN satellites and cellular IoT devices, ensuring reliable connectivity even in remote areas with unstable cellular and LPWA networks. This continuous coverage enables uninterrupted data transmission and tracking capabilities across vast regions.