The Internet of Things (IoT) will be able to track more than 500 million assets in the supply chain by 2023, thanks to low-powered wide area networks (LPWANs), according to a report written by market forecaster ABI Research.
An LPWAN connects low-bandwidth, battery-powered devices by using wireless technology integrated into cloud software platforms.
They are particularly suited to tracking assets and sending data over long distances while using minimal amounts of energy.
According to ABI’s ‘Asset Tracking: Market Opportunities in the Era of LPWA’ report, LPWANs will provide seamless visibility of assets to multiple stakeholders across the supply chain.
Having first being used in healthcare to track sensitive and high-value biomedical assets, LPWANs have been used primarily to mitigate supply chain risks.
They’re now being utilised by shipping companies to track intermodal refrigerated containers, as well as dry containers, which comprise 90% of the global container fleet.
ABI predicts that, as the technology matures, it will be integrated with AI and blockchain technologies, which will increase supply chain efficiencies.
It also says that LPWANs can combine with horizontal platforms will drive further adoption and account for three quarters of the installed base of asset trackers by 2023.
Adarsh Krishnan, Principal Analyst at ABI Research, commented: “Simple low-cost LPWA enabled asset tracking solutions will transform the supply chain and logistics industry the way smart meters are transforming the energy and water distribution industry.
“AI will provide valuable insights from analysis of the location data gathered by the asset tracker, and blockchain will allow for decentralized control and provide greater transparency across supply chain processes.”