Supply Chain Internet Of Things Takes Another Step Forward

Juniper_Innovations_Container_TrackingThe Internet of Things is blurring the line between the on-line and real world.  Imagine using the internet to search for your lost car keys or office laptop, or being text or tweeted if a borrowed asset such as a handheld computer, lone worker device or even a lawn mower hasn’t been returned on time.  Well in China, the Internet of Things is being used in Supply Chain Management.

China’s coastal waters and inland waterways (graded above 4) have been covered by an Automatic Identification System (AIS).  This is according to the Maritime Safety Administration of China.

Ships are equipped with AIS devices that link up to a shore based network.  This enables the AIS to identify position, course and speed.  The benefit is to move from traditional to “smart” navigation, with 134,000 ships having AIS by July 2012.

The aims of AIS are to improve safety, security, protection and navigation.  So for example, ships not equipped with AIS can be stopped from entering rivers and ports and requested to change their courses.

Information can also be shared using AIS.  The AIS data exchange service provided via the Internet will have a capacity for storage of AIS data for statistical purposes.

Whilst not stated on their website, it is conceivable the Internet of Things could also be used to help track cargo with this data being shared.  This could potentially give location, ship, date/time, cargo and navigation data to help manage supply chain activities.  Wouldn’t this be useful?