Into the Clouds:

How Asset Tracking is set to change the Rail Industry

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As part of our deep dive into asset tracking, we’ll be reviewing some industry-specific applications to illustrate how IoT technology can help any business track critical goods, increase efficiency, and mitigate risks.

To start, we’ll be looking at the rail freight transportation industry, which is experiencing a steady period of growth. Globally, it’s projected that the value of rail freight transportation will increase from $159 billion to $205 billion USD by 2026.i This growth can in part be attributed to the reliability of rail transportation and increased globalization, among other factors.

What role can asset tracking play in rail management?

The rail industry has embraced digitization to a degree, but it is expected that technological innovation will play a larger part in the growth of freight transportation in the coming years. For the growth of the rail industry to yield returns, it will be critical to ensure rail assets are being fully utilized, protected, and scheduled correctly. It only makes sense then that asset management in the rail industry is also expected to grow, with one projection suggesting that “the global rail asset management market size is expected to grow from $9.4 billion to $12.6 billion by 2025.”ii

Many asset tracking solutions use a combination of hardware, IoT sensors, and cloud-based software to give businesses visibility into the location and condition of their containers and rail chassis. With real-time GPS data in hand, businesses can easily find specific assets and make sure they are on track to their destination, which in turn enables accurate ETAs to be given to customers.

In some cases, asset tracking solutions also give businesses the ability to see inside their containers. For example, tracking devices with integrated cargo sensors can be installed in containers to collect data on the volume and position of cargo in containers. Door sensors can also be incorporated to track and monitor container access. The data from the devices is transmitted to cloud-based software, which is accessible anytime, from any device, enabling businesses to act quickly when there has been unauthorized access or movement.

Refrigerated containers can also benefit from an IoT asset tracking solution. Temperature and humidity sensors integrated in tracking devices provide continual real-time data while automatic alerts let staff know when temperatures have gone outside of a pre-defined range. With this information readily available, businesses can ensure perishable goods are transported correctly, helping to prevent food spoilage and loss of revenue.

The benefits of asset tracking don’t end there. Many solutions provide detailed reports that can be used to identify inefficiency, like long dwell times and loading/unloading times.

Asset tracking helps keep rail freight transportation rolling

Rail freight transportation is considered a reliable and cost-effective way to move goods. As the industry continues to grow, asset tracking solutions can help businesses improve visibility, efficiency, and safety of their containers, chassis, and even cargo. Although there is an initial cost when investing in an asset tracking solution, the ROI, time, and money saved will definitely make the investment worthwhile. Find out more about asset tracking solutions by contacting our specialists today!



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