If you are an online shopper, you will appreciate the magic of next day deliveries. But, have you ever thought about the logistics that make this possible? All the goods that have to be shipped from A to B to C, with tight deadlines and using different transport modes that stretch across multiple geographies – the logistics network that fuels our global economy relies on incredibly complex processes.
On their way, goods travelling from one part of the world to another will be handled by various companies in the value chain with shared responsibilities. This is even true for the logistic services giants who have complete end-to-end logistics solutions. Somewhere, at some point during a route, there is a need for cross-docking to keep efficiency up and costs down.
From a security perspective, these complex goods flows are a challenge. Attacks on supply chains and transports have become more frequent – both by organized crime and individual criminals.
New ways of tracking parcels
This worrying trend means logistics companies are looking for new ways to track what happens en route, detect incidents and attacks, and generally improve the precision and transparency of their processes. The use of telematics, barcodes and RFIDs helps trace goods at defined points along their journey. Some companies use this as a post-incident tool to verify the routing of goods, or as a tool to monitor fleets and goods in real time.
However, while this method gives you some idea of where your goods are, it cannot reveal the present status of the goods, or in the case of an incident, what happened, who did it and how the goods are affected.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have clear pictures from all the warehouses, cross-docking stations, logistics centers, trucks, trailers and delivery vans along the journey – and even automated alerts telling you exactly what’s happening?
Network cameras add a clear picture
Today’s smart network video cameras not only provide high-quality images in any light or weather, they are also intelligent enough to detect unwanted movements and activities using video analytics. Rather than evaluating video footage from thousands or millions of parcels, integrating video with existing tracking methods – i.e. the infrastructure already in place with barcode scanners and RFID trackers – allows companies to backtrack individual items. They can zoom in on specific events in seconds, see the goods status in detail, and efficiently deal with incidents, claims, attacks and deviations.
One company that is already doing this is Swedish transportation and logistics specialist TransFargo. With forty video cameras installed at its logistics centers in Malmö and Gothenburg, TransFargo has not only improved security, but also streamlined its operations, tracking goods in connection with troubleshooting.
The solution is not only scalable for future needs, but has a direct impact on the bottom line: Improving customer confidence and quality branding, minimizing time and costs for investigating incidents, deterring attacks, reducing shrinkage and false claims.
Combining tracking technologies with network video cameras is a winning solution. Making the world of logistics safer and more transparent, it will help keep the wheels of the global economy spinning.
Communicated by Axis Communications