High Tech Security for Supply Chains

  • October 11, 2018
  • Jeffrey Newman
  • Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Protecting Shipments In Transit

As manufacturers and consumer goods providers deal with the explosive growth of e-commerce and the global economy, shipment monitoring for quality and security is more important than ever before. Expensive electronics, raw materials like copper, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, perishable foods and high-value consumer goods transported around the globe are susceptible to a variety of shipping disruptions ranging from weather to environmental condition breaches to theft.

Visibility in the supply chain is a key factor in preventing damaged, lost or stolen shipments, which can occur at any point, especially during transit. IoT technology paired with security cameras at origin and destination points as well as good protocols can help guard your valuable and sensitive shipments. Smart sensors and devices help protect them from disruption by providing continuous real-time visibility into the location as well as the environmental condition of the goods when they are in transit. Attaching tracking and sensor technology to a container, pallet or individual parcel can help ensure that the goods arrive at the destination intact regardless of what transportation modes are used. The technology documents the chronological history of who handled a shipment and when for a proper chain of custody and control to reduce the risk of goods being replaced, tampered with or stolen along the way.

The supply chain is comprised of companies ranging from shippers to 3PLs to retail outlets that typically all have different information systems. Real-time tracking is a key tool for filling in gaps in shipment visibility across the invested parties. Smart sensors and devices log a continuous stream of data, including the location, temperature, humidity and other factors that can affect the integrity of the transported products that are often subject to regulation(s). This information transmits to the cloud for later auditing, compliance or forensic purposes. As previously mentioned, the data provides both a record of custody and control as well as proof of the condition and location of the shipment throughout the journey.

Alert parameters can be defined to notify supply chain managers and other stakeholders, such as quality assurance, when a shipment strays from its expected path, goes out of the required temperature range or dwells too long in one location. This information is crucial for preventing damage, spoilage, theft and other cargo loss. Unfortunately, fully loaded trailers and its contents at the origin site or during transit can suffer an environmental condition breach or be stolen using false credentials or other opportunities. For this reason, it is important to have real-time awareness of the shipment location at all times.

Smart sensors and devices that enable geospatial pairing between a pallet or parcel and its delivery location improve customer satisfaction while providing an additional layer of protection against theft. Recipients can secure their delivery or have a record of who signed for it. IoT supply chain technology also makes it easier to automate delivery confirmation, leading to faster auditing for compliance and better forensics in the event that there is a problem with the shipment.

To learn more about how CalAmp can help you secure your shipments with end-to-end visibility, visit our supply chain visibility page here and download our visibility and risk management solution brief here.

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